Kazakhstan nationals: Water Expert—Drone and Remote Sensing Technologies

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

, , KZ

Objective and Purpose of the Assignment
  
The objective of this assignment is to support the implementation of a pilot project to demonstrate use 
of drones in Zhambyl and North-Kazakhstan regions for developing potential future drone-based services 
related to improved crop and irrigation water management. It will introduce crop intelligence to be used 
by farmers in Kazakhstan and acquire quantitative information on irrigation volume, soil moisture, crop 
water consumption, fertilization and crop production in specific areas of the country. Enhancing digital 
agriculture using unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) in conjunction with  satellite measurements  promote 
the possibilities to produce more food per unit of land and per unit of water through timely actions and 
more uniform farm management.  Demonstration of practical examples to make irrigation more efficient, 
use lower amount of agro-chemicals and in the end create more net benefits for farmers. The expected 
output is that drone service providers focus more on the generation of specific products, an integration 
between field surveys with drones and recurrent satellite data is established and farmers specify the 
type of remote sensing products they want to receive and have commercial interests in.

Scope of Work
  
The national consultant will be responsible for drones operation,  data processing and the operation of 
remote sensing algorithms. The international consultant will assist the national consultant with the 
interpretation of the data.

Detailed Tasks and/or Expected Output
  
Specifically, the national consultant will be responsible for:

a.	organizing the flights in the field during the growing season in 2020 for both the  Zhambyl and North-
Kazakhstan regions during 4 to 5 different moments in the growing season. Processing of the image data 
including remote sensing imageries to analyze the data to promote digital agriculture. The main 
objective is to create appetite for farmers to start using remote sensing  services as part of the 
digital agriculture program of Kazakhstan. It is based on the concept of showing and doing. The 
advantages for farmers and agro-industry to use either drones or satellites will be assessed by making 
comparisons with the satellite-based services that are part of a parallel ADB project;

b.	creating images from photos and convert the spectral measurements (5 bands in Visible and Near-
Infrared range & 1 band in Thermal Infrared range) to standard products that farmers understand and be 
able to produce and disseminate knowledge received in the sector;

c.	working out appealing examples in the context of Kazakhstan to demonstrate added value of drone 
measurements and satellite imageries, for example better matches between supply and demand of irrigation 
water with lower water losses; 

d.	preparing an operational plan for drone operations in the 2020 growing season, simultaneously 
conducting field measurements of temperatures and other crop parameters (plant height; vegetation cover; 
root depth) for the sake of validation;

e.	preparing a soil-analysis for data analysis and final report.

4.	Together with the international consultant, the national consultant will produce a report on how 
drone operators should be organized, collaborate together with other pilots for comprising the large 
land area of Kazakhstan and the type of services they should set up in 2020 and beyond. 

5.	The national expert will work under the supervision of ADB staff and in close collaboration with the 
TA coordinator and other experts from the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources and 
Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan. The consultant will also help framing the business model for 
drone-based operations, also in the context of network of pilots. 

6.	The national consultant by the request of his Supervisor and International Consultant should 
participate and present in consultation workshops and/or meetings with relevant stakeholders and be able 
to travel within the country, as requested by the ADB.  

In preparing the reports, the consultant will follow the following stages and complete the specified 
tasks provided by International Consultant for each report: 

A. Submission of workplan                                                                    
- Summary of assignment
- Description of approach to an operational plan and data collection for the 2020 crop season
- Description of key planned inputs and time-bound outputs 
B. Mid-term plan/report                                                                           
- Organizing synchronous spectral and thermal measurements
- Field visit plan approval and data analysis; 
D. Draft final report                                                                               30 
September 2020   25%
- Update contents of Mid-term report
- Detailed assessment of the data and an operational plan for drone operations in the 2020 growing season
- Recommendations for the Farmers and the Government policy and ADB country operations;
E. Final report                                                                                       
- Contents of draft final report, updated with ADB comments
Minimum Qualification Requirements
  
7.	The consultant will possess a Masters’ degree with expertise in water-agro sector related issues and 
should have access to drones and pilots that can execute the flights. He/she should have at least 2-year 
experience in drone applications for agricultural water management. Familiarity with ADB project 
implementation and management procedures will be considered a plus. He/she will have experience in 
satellite data and in setting up businesses.

Minimum General Experience – 2-3 years
Minimum Specific Experience (relevant to assignment) – 1 year

POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED