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Nov 17, 2016

The Drones are Coming for Ministry of Agriculture

The Ministry of Agriculture just got some brand new tech to help them gather data and do other work that is critical to the ministry. Drones have been used primarily in the creative sector, photographers, videographers and the media in Belize. But it is also used by logistic companies like DHL for deliveries, by Police in search of missing persons, as well as to monitor and document crime scenes. In the UK, a popular research showed that the agriculture sector will account for forty-eight percent of all commercial drone sales for this year. And on Tuesday, the Ministry of Agriculture here announced just how they will be using the three drones that they received:

 

Dowlat Budram

Dr. Dowlat Budram, Representative, IICA
“At a request from the ministry we agree to collaborate in the ministry in the post hurricane event by providing this kind of technology here, that will help in data gathering and verification of information in the field. So, we went ahead and got some resources from headquarters, we were able to purchase three drones and so we have these here today and we will be handing over these to the ministry. I know this technology is widely used in many places and many countries.”

 

Jose Alpuche

Jose Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Agriculture
“This that we’re getting today while we’re doing it as part of the hurricane recovery and I must thank Dr. Budram and Dr. Villalobos from IICA for responding quickly. What this is doing beyond the disaster recovery is to put us at another level. I’m truly hoping that the training that you will be getting today, well over the next two days, I believe it is, has more to do with the operation of the equipment but under a project already being implemented with the IDB we’re beginning to build the database, beginning to build the systems to begin data collection and forecast supply balance and production of estimates. It shows what can be done with the application of technology not only in the time of  disaster but actually in the time of everyday work, in terms of assessing a crop, doing crop forecasting, for example, yield forecasting. One of the tasks we’ve undertaken within the ministry with the help of IICA and FAO and a few others, but at the end of the day what will depend on the work that you do is for us to truly put in place a functioning farm registry, the geo referencing of the farms and having the ability to begin doing forecast supply balance; something the ministry has never done before. We take statistics but the statistics is always post production, which is good and we have a good system of post-production data but we don’t do forecast supply balances. We don’t have the ability to advise farmers in real time in terms of matching plantings and output with market demand. If we can get forecast supply balance done properly, that should really take us the Ministry, but more importantly take the farming community to a whole different level.”

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