The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, will be purchasing 13 drones that will help to bolster the capacity of extension officers in the field.
The drones will be among other equipment and machinery, valued at a total of $230 million, that will serve to enhance the technological modernisation of the agricultural sector and facilitate increased production and productivity.
This was noted by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, who noted that the use of drones is critical to assist extension officers and investors in the determination of physical characteristics of soil and ground cover.
“There is a need for greater infusion of technology in the sector to determine crop production acres, livestock production numbers, soil fertility status and environmental and crop forecasting. This is a priority,” he pointed out.
In the meantime, Mr. Hutchinson said priority focus will also continue to be placed on the Ministry’s Production Incentive Programme. aimed at boosting the capacity of small farmers to achieve greater productivity.
“Under the Production Incentive Programme, it is projected that farmers will be provided with support for soil analysis, soil nutrient management, marketing, land preparation, seeds and planting material, fertilisers – all valued in excess of $350 million,” he said.
These provisions form part of strategic projects being pursued under the Ministry’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Recovery Programme, which is being financed with the support of $1 billion from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.