Staff of the Ministry of the Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security are hoping to begin training in data collection through the use of drone technology.
Fourteen (14) staff members have been selected to be trained in how to use the DJ1M1 agriculture industrial drone.
Coordinator of the Disaster Risk Management Project within the Ministry of the Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security, Dr Almario Casimir discussed the importance of the training and how it could be utilized in the field.
“We have the opportunity to train eight (8) Dominicans to include people from Agriculture Forestry Physical Planning and Land and Surveys. With that training we also had the opportunity to acquire a drone device, which is actually available for utilization within production.”
He continued “In agriculture we intend to utilize it to do a number of things, to include, increase monitoring of crop production, the monitoring of pest and disease and more importantly the monitoring of nutritional status issues with regards to nutritious uptake of the crops.”
Dr Casimir was thrilled to begin training and was eager to make use of the new technology.
“We are very excited in terms of the application of the technology and we are looking forward in terms of how we can best go about utilizing it (the drone) in a routine daily manner.”
The Ministry is interested in ways to better serve the farmers, fishers and processors on island and Dr Casimir is optimistic about the various ways the application and software training could assist the officers as well as the farmers in regards to increasing production.
Asked how can such training could help in agriculture and the advantages of utilizing the drone Dr Casimir elaborated saying, “When it comes to precision farming it is linked to the whole issue of production and productivity. For e.g. when it comes to improving our monitoring of our pest and disease statuses; we would have a better idea of application of precise products when it comes to rates dosages and frequencies, likewise, with a more informed measurement of nutritional status we could make better utilization of the limited fertilizers and or soil ameliorants available.”
Dr Casimir also told farmers that the influence of technology will only serve them and not hinder.
The training for the application of the drone which was scheduled for Saturday the 11th July was postponed due to adverse weather conditions.