DA eyes drones to spray fertilizers on veggie farms in Benguet

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary Manny C. Piñol has asked Benguet provincial governor Crescencio C. Pacalso to identify 5,000 hectares of vegetable farms for a pilot project on fertilizer spray using a drone.

A remote-controlled drone being used by the International Rice Research Institute in Laguna. Photo credit: http://blog.worldagroforestry.org/

According to the DA, the drone developed by DMM.com can spray one hectare of land in 10 minutes and will only cost a farmer P1,500. Manual spraying usually takes 160 minutes per hectare. The drone can carry one liter of fertilizer, which is enough for one hectare.

The DA, in partnership with the DMM.com, is conducting a drone spray study in Buguias town where the top crop is white potato.

Piñol said the DA is willing to pay for the demonstration of the done spray to show how it will help vegetable farmers. “There is always resistance from farmers when it comes to technology so we have to show them the benefits,” he said.

He said that they are including drone spray in the loan program of the DA so that it can be availed by farmers. — Aldwin Quitasol

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