DJI, the Chinese drone manufacturer based in Shenzhen, announced it is establishing a service network to expand the use of agriculture-specific unmanned aerial vehicles in China. The company will train 10,000 people across the country to operate the drones and set up 100 after-sales service centers. As part of the initiative the company will be offering subsidies to up to 10,000 people to start an agricultural drone business.
Cao Nan, the sales director of DJI, said: “The agricultural drone could load 10 kilograms of pesticides and spray an area of up to four hectares per hour. Its work efficiency can reach more than 40 times of a human and it will also solve the shortage of workers in rural areas.”
The program will incorporate use of the MG-1, a farm-specific drone that DJI launched last November.
“Unlike other drones, used in aerial photography, the farm drone needs specialized sales and after-sales service support,” said Wang Fan, the company’s public relations officer. He added test flights, assembly and machine maintenance will be provided in the service network.
The penetration rate of agricultural drones in China is only 3 percent, compared with 50 percent in the United States and Japan, so there is a huge potential for growth, industry statistics showed.
With the modernization of agriculture, the demand for advanced farming devices has been growing significantly.
The government has issued policies to promote the use of modern agricultural machinery, which includes offering subsidies to encourage use of drones in agriculture.
She Shuanglin, a researcher at Analysys International, said: “The country’s regulation on consumer-specific drones is strict and the risk is relatively high, so it is an inevitable trend more industry-specific drones will appear in the future.”