Drones, Blockchain, Mobile Apps and Other Technologies Help Heifer Farmers Tackle Challenges in the Field

By Jason Woods

August 24, 2020

Sometimes the best solution to a farmer’s problems is cutting edge and high tech, and sometimes it’s a simple tool that’s been around for generations. Heifer projects use all kinds of technologies — whatever is most appropriate to the context in which we’re working. Here are some of the innovations Heifer-supported farmers are using to boost yields, keep animals and produce healthy, and connect to markets.


Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative, which is supported by Heifer USA, uses blockchain technology to let customers know exactly where their meat comes from and who raised it. Soon, coffee and chocolate farmers in Honduras will be doing the same.


Drones are helping farmers in Mexico plan and monitor their crops. Thanks to aerial surveillance, they can quickly detect pest infestations and address them before crops are lost.

Prototype Cardamom Dryer

Cardamom producers in Guatemala are using a prototype dryer that decreases the standard 50 hours needed to process the aromatic spice. Because of the time reduction, the amount of wood used also decreases.


Heifer Tanzania adopted kinengunengu, a clever contraption for raising chickens. The two-room brooder is cheap and built from local resources. Newly hatched chicks are kept warm and snuggly in a covered box, while older chicks get a bit more breathing room in an open box that still keeps them safe.

Mobile Money

In Kenya and Uganda, farmers who don’t have access to banks use mobile money technology on their cell phones as a convenient, secure and low-cost alternative.

Vertical Fodder

In densely populated Bangladesh, arable land is scarce and often flooded during monsoons. To feed their animals year-round, farmers are using a Heifer-designed technique for growing fodder vertically, drastically reducing the amount of land they need to keep their animals fed.

Mobile App

Farmers in Nepal are selling their goats via a virtual collection center mobile app that increases both control over and ease of sales.

Solar Power

Much of Senegal is located in the harsh, dry Sahel. Heifer is harnessing solar power to dig wells and then pump the water to provide sustainable water sources.