The use of drones in agriculture is attracting growing attention, especially among older farmers whose physical burden can be lessened by the devices. The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry has included drones in its guidance for farmers so that they can fly drones safely and spray pesticides properly.
“Move the controller forward slowly,” said an instructor to participants of a training session in Takasaki. Twelve rice farmers took part and practiced keeping a drone at a certain height over a space assumed to be a rice paddy.
A 52-year-old participant grows rice in a paddy of about 60 hectares. Until now, he has sprayed pesticides by carrying a sprayer on his back that weighs more than 10 kilograms. “The work has been physically hard. Beginning this summer, I want to use a drone for spraying,” he said with a smile.