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EghtesadOnline: A private knowledge-based company has indigenized drones that assist farmers in a variety of ways, Energy Today website reported.

Sabokbal Helia Aseman Company designs and manufactures agricultural drones that are being used in farms in the country, the managing director Mohsen Siadatnejad said.

Buying drones from other countries is costly; this is while domestic knowledge-based firms manufacture the small aircraft at lower costs, Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.

Speaking about the high potential to export drones, Siadatnejad said: “We are in talks with neighboring states but have not yet reached the export stage.”

An agricultural drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle used by farmers to help increase crop production and monitor crop growth. Sensors and digital imaging capabilities give farmers a clearer picture of their fields. The information can also be useful in improving crop yield and farm efficiency.

Agricultural drones let farmers see their fields from the sky. The bird's-eye view can reveal many issues such as irrigation problems, soil variation and pest and fungal infestations. 

Multispectral images show a near-infrared view as well as a visual spectrum view. The combination shows the farmer the differences between healthy and unhealthy plants, a difference not always clearly visible to the naked eye. Thus, these views can assist in assessing crop growth and production.

As the drone flies, it automatically takes pictures using onboard sensors and the built-in camera, and uses GPS to determine when to take each shot. However, if the drone does not have the automatic features, one person needs to manually take the photos.



Spraying and Water Consumption

Data provided to farmers also can help cut the use of pesticides and water consumption. Iran’s agro sector consumes almost 90% of the water of which unusually large volumes are wasted to the extent that economic experts say agricultural production is prohibitive because of the water that is used and wasted.  

Agricultural spraying drones are equipped with a tank and spraying system. These are capable of spraying crops with far more precision than a traditional tractor. It helps reduce cost and potential pesticide exposure to workers who otherwise would be needed to spray the crops manually.

Drone sprayers do not make physical contact with the earth so there will be less soil compaction. This is while heavy machinery like tractors roll over the soil, pressing it down and damaging it over a long period of time.

Drones are used to increase watering efficiency and detect possible pooling or leaks in the pipelines. 

Around 56% of the water consumed in Iran’s farming sector goes to waste due to misuse.

Iran's reserves of groundwater are being depleted at an alarming rate because of poor management and excessive consumption largely in the agro sector.

Official data suggest over 90% of the water resources are used by farmers, where unsustainable and wasteful farming practices are the norm.

Agricultural drones paired with thermal cameras are able to detect and see from above what humans cannot from the ground. 

The drones can help spot areas that are receiving too little or excessive water.

The information gathered can be used to maximize drainage, adhere to natural land runoff, and avoid water pooling, which can damage sensitive crops.

Water and farming are costly and can ruin crops. With the help of drones the problems can be spotted before they become troublesome.


Iran drone technology Farmers Indigenized