By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Turning agriculture into a further profitable and attractive sector of the economy is one of the main tasks within the process of diversification of the national economy. Enhancing of capabilities in terms of applying new technologies as well as building up human resources are the key factors for the promising future of this area in Azerbaijan.
Introduction of drones serves as an example of advanced technologies used within the agricultural sector of the country. Drones are needed to conduct surveys in hard-to-reach areas of agricultural lands. They can determine how well the irrigation was conducted as well as the condition of the soil and identify weed plants.
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been used for killing red spider mites by spraying pesticides on a cotton field planted using Chinese technology.
This is the first time that a UAV has been used in Azerbaijan as a means of combating agricultural pests.
The soil surface of the cotton field, planted using Chinese technology, is covered with polyethylene, and watering is carried out with a drip method. Therefore, experts have concluded that it is better to use drones instead of heavy machinery.
Etibar Ibrahimov, leading researcher at the laboratory for the control of diseases and pests of the Research Institute of Crop Husbandry, and Zohrab Garibov, scientific worker at the Department of Plant Selection of the Institute, carried out the operation.
The aerial chemical pest control with the help of drones has already caught the interest of local farmers.
However, not everyone is optimistic about these latest developments in this sphere. Recent researches showed that weed control with drones has a long way to go. Studies figured out that the ground-based technology is still the best choice at the moment. However, successful application of drones in Australia, Thailand, China and other countries of Asia arouses interest of developing countries including Azerbaijan.
Taking into account the experience of these countries, such aspects as difference in the sizes of the fields and in the planted crops should be taken into consideration during the introduction of these robots to the fields of the country.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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