DA now uses drones for assessment
The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched drones in the farmlands of Pampanga on Thursday – the first time that the country used unmanned aerial vehicles for disaster risk reduction and management in the agriculture sector.
The Philippine News Agency reported that the drones, which were operated by DA and FAO specialists, were equipped with photogrammetric and navigation equipment.
More technical experts are undergoing a three-week training with lectures, simulation exercises, actual flying and mission planning, and professional use through safe, lawful, and ethical means.
The PNA said data generated from drone flights will be used for environmental monitoring and agricultural assessments and planning.
FAO Representative in the Philippines José Luis Fernández told the PNA that the use of drones modernizes disaster preparedness and response and contributes to planning.
Christopher Morales of the DA Field Operations Service said the use of drones speeds up the assessment of hazards and actual damage after a disaster.
“With the use of a drone, a team of technical specialists can assess up to 600 hectares in one day,” he told the PNA.
Fernandez vowed to support the Philippines’ expansion in using drone technology for agriculture.