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UAE to use drones to map agricultural areas

UAE to use drones to map agricultural areas

The pilot phase of the project will begin in the second week of June

The UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment plans to use drones to survey and map agricultural areas in the country.

The ministry invited several professional drone companies in the UAE to carry out the pilot phase of the project, official news agency WAM reported.

The pilot phase, which will begin in the second week of June, will include surveying and mapping the Wadi Al Khib area (500 sqm) in the emirate of Fujairah using the drones.

“Using a drone-enabled aerial mapping system is the ideal solution to generate high-resolution, highly efficient aerial data, including topographic mapping, contouring, vector mapping and textured 3D city models,” said Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, minister of Climate Change and Environment.

“This data will be systematically analysed to produce accurate statistical information that is updated constantly.”

Some of the information set to be collected through the project includes the number of greenhouses, area of windbreaks, infertile land area, area of farm buildings and facilities, number of wells in a farm, soil type and salinity, and livestock population.

The drones are also expected to help secure data on the number of beehives in a farm, the farm area and geographical boundaries, farm classification (crop farm, animal farm or mixed), area of temporary and permanent crops, number of palm trees and other fruit trees, as well as the area of protected agriculture, the report stated.

“We hope through this project to create a highly accurate agricultural database that supports decision making and forward planning – particularly important if we are to achieve outstanding outcomes in precision agriculture,” added Al Zeyoudi.

The GCC drone market could be worth $1.5bn by 2022 thanks to growing use in the commercial space, consultancy Strategy& said in a report last year.

Read: GCC drones market to reach $1.5bn by 2022 – report

Regionally, the market for drones is being driven by the oil and gas ($633m), and utilities ($484m) industries — which are projected to constitute 43 per cent and 32 percent of the total respectively, the company said.

Other sectors that are anticipated to use drone-based technologies in the region include mining ($115m), public safety ($107m), public infrastructure ($70m), telecom ($27m), transport and logistics ($20m), agriculture ($12m), insurance ($12m), and media ($9m).

Also read: Dubai to deploy drones to catch people littering the city

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