News Date: August 18 2016
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, is collaborating with local company D&C Drones to revolutionise the agriculture sector through the introduction of drone technology.
On Tuesday (Aug. 16) the Ministry took the technology to farmers in Lowe River, Trelawny, to demonstrate its use and applicability.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, who observed the tests, said that the unmanned aerial vehicles are effective in addressing praedial larceny, assessing damage following natural disasters such as a flood or hurricane, and will better assist farmers to put measures in place to boost crop yield.
He said it is extremely difficult to get an accurate picture of damage to crops and livestock following a natural disaster, especially in remote areas.
“Once we have crop damage after a hurricane or flood we find that the estimates are usually never correct. Many of the extension officers can’t reach the areas where the damage is. With the drone we are able to go over and identify all the crops and all the animals that have been lost and bring back the picture within a day,” he pointed out.
He added that the drones can also give a better picture as to crop production, identify areas that might need irrigation, and also plants that may be lacking in nutrients.
“With this kind of technology we will be able to accurately tell the farmer what needs to be done with his various crops. We will now be looking at not only how we can increase production but also productivity. With this technology we are looking to see how we can bolster agriculture. The drone is going to make a big difference as far as us moving forward in agriculture,” he informed.
Senior Director of D&C Drones Nigel Davy, whose company is in negotiations with the Government for the use of the devices, said that drones can revolutionise agriculture in Jamaica.