By Leman Mammadova
Azerbaijan is making efforts to improve product quality in the country as well as improve the efficiency of labor by applying high technologies in the agriculture industry.
The country will begin to use drones since summer 2019 to determine the state of agricultural lands, Toghrul Gafarbayli, head of the protocol at the Ministry of Agriculture, told Interfax Azerbaijan.
He noted that so far, the ministry has purchased only one drone, adding that the number of these drones will be increased to 10-15 in the near future.
“The drones will be handed over to the Plant Production Institute under the Agriculture Ministry, and upon the request of the farmers, the specialists will go to the site and conduct the necessary research,” he said.
In Gafarbayli’s words, drones are needed to conduct surveys in hard-to-reach areas of agricultural land. They can determine how well the irrigation was conducted as well as the condition of the soil and identify weed plants.
“In general, the drones have 10 functions and they are made in Hong Kong,” he stressed.
Gafarbayli also noted that the procurement of such drones requires the permission of the State Security Service, the Ministry of Defense, the State Border Service and the Special State Security Service.
Drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) managing with various degrees of autonomy, originated mostly in military applications, although their use is expanding in commercial, scientific, recreational, agricultural and other spheres.
The agriculture sector is considered one of the important directions in the country’s development, because this sector plays a special role in the diversification of the economy, providing the population with food, the development of regions, reducing poverty, addressing social problems and other issues.
Therefore, any innovations in this industry are welcome. Today, agriculture sector is one of the biggest technology and innovation consumers in the world. Agriculture is one of the most promising areas of application of drones.
Drones can be effectively used for planning and controlling the stages of agricultural production, as well as for chemical processing of crops and other plants. The main criterion for the introduction of UAVs is the economic feasibility. Drones allow to receive relevant and effective information when it is needed; in addition, the information accumulated over a long period allows to analyze the processes in dynamics.
Moreover, UAVs are capable of collecting planting information sufficient for accurate use of pesticides and herbicides where chemicals are needed. This promises farmers the opportunity to save on the use of chemicals, and also protects the environment.
At the same time, drones allow to create a cartographic base with the exact coordinates of all objects, to further conduct a visual analysis of objects with a resolution of up to several cm per pixel. This allows calculating the exact area, distance, resource requirements, etc.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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