6 October 2017
      Drones for Agriculture…New Option for Agriculture 4.0 (Current Issue No. 2874 Full Ed.)

              Aerial drones for agriculture could be an interesting option as an agricultural tool that offers high precision. They are now becoming very popular in this era of “Agriculture 4.0” that is marked by the deployment of advanced technologies and other innovations to enhance production efficiency via lower costs and faster results, thus permitting the use of fewer workers amid a current downtrend in agricultural workforces globally.  In addition, drones are very precise, thus facilitating the growing of better quality produce.

       If Thailand adopts such advanced agricultural technologies as drones for agriculture, in accordance with the Thai government policy ofBig Farmintroduced this year, farmers will likely be able to cut their production costs nationally by THB1.1 billion, and THB6 billion over the next four years. This estimate is based on an assumption that there will be 1,512 rice farms taking part in theBig Farm pilot program this year and 7,000 farms by 2021, with the depreciation of such drones included.  In the future, use of agricultural drones should increase rapidly since their prices are getting cheaper amid market competition of various manufacturers and their rising popularity among farmers/related businesses. In addition, technological advances are usually hastening price decreases for high-tech products.

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