Pakistan develops drones to fight off locusts and boost agriculture

Locally developed drones to help Pakistan fight off locust attack and save crops

Pakistan has developed agricultural drones to fight off desert locusts devouring crops for months and threatening food security.

Ministry of Science and Technology and ABN-SATUMA, a private drone-manufacturing company, inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of drones for agriculture applications.

The drones will especially be used to target locust attacks. Fawad Chaudhary, the minister for science and technology said that each drone can carry 16 kgs of load and can spray it within a few minutes.

Minister Fawad Chaudhary called the development a “milestone”. The technology will be handed over to NDMA to fight the locusts. A few other countries have previously deployed drones to counter locust swarms.

NRTC also developing drones after Made in Pakistan ventilators

National Radio Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC), a state-run telecommunication manufacturing company, in statement said the locally manufactured drones will spray insecticides and pesticides on fields.

The crop has been severely damaged in 60 districts across the country due to attacks by desert locusts. NRTC also recently started producing ventilators which are much needed these days due to the novel coronavirus.

How drones are helping farmers?

Technology is helping in every aspect of life including agriculture. Traditionally, it has been difficult to monitor the fields and experts have to walk through them to analyze the health of the crop.

Identifying the areas with weeds, pests and other problems has been a laborious job. It is nearly impossible to monitor farms that are on thousands of acres.

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), commonly referred to as drones, however, can now help identify the issues with the help of the various sensors. They can identify insect attacks, weed trouble, and assess soil quality, as well as spraying insecticides and even plant crops in the future. The use of technology revolutionizing agriculture and providing solutions that will increase the crop yield.  

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