“From now on, drone agriculture technology will be a major area, because the world will be suffering from food crises and land for cultivation is declining rapidly because of environmental issues.” James mentions two ways that the Agri Drone helps reduce labor for farmers.
In fact, the average [yield] is 50 percent of what is harvested from chemically-treated rice.” “In order to harvest more, organic farmers are also using organic fertilizers, and the drones can show which parts need to be fertilized.” Katsumata is looking to grow the number of farmers involved to more than 10 by April this year.
“So, even though we have lots of rice farmers in Japan, that population is rapidly declining because Japanese people do not eat [so much] rice today, and young people especially are shifting their food culture to more Western foods.” He pointed out, however, that sushi is a popular food in China, the United States, and Europe; so Japanese rice has potential markets abroad.
“The education extends to operators of the equipment and teaching them how to properly and safely perform a spray application; to the customer so they are aware of the details of the operations; and to regulators so they are aware of the operation and know how to properly regulate it.” OPTiM is working with local governments to help educate about the benefits of drone usage, and is working with Fujieda City in Shizuoka and Obihiro City in Hokkaido Prefecture to find farmers to train.
“The overall goal of the agreement is to modernize the agricultural industry in Saga, and drones were seen as a way to reduce labor and improve crop care,” Leslie James, a member of the promotion team of the Platform Department at OPTiM Corporation Tokyo Head Office, told The ACCJ Journal.Source: https://japantoday.com/category/tech/how-drones-are-changing-the-rice-industry