Thailand Launches Smart Drone Project for Rural Communities

November 2023

The Bangkok Post recently reported that Thailand’s Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry intends to commence a drone project for communities nationwide with the goal of facilitating the adoption of smart farming solution. At the same time, the initiative aims at easing the financial burden of farmers through the application of advanced technology for improved productivity productivity. During the first phase, the initiative will involve the provision of 500 large drones to 500 farming communities in Thailand.

Thai families employed in agriculture account for around half of the country’s population. However, their contribution to GDP is low, at just one-tenth. In effect, Thai farmers face many challenges, from those stemming from not owning the land they farm, to high debt levels and a lack of technological applications. Climate change is also exacerbating these challenges.

Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa) developed the drone project over the past 10 months. This included determining details of the implementation to screening drone vendors that meet specific safety and quality standards.

The government’s larger objective is to support a smart farming ecosystem throughout the country. The large drones used in this initiative are reported to be able to reduce the working time, lower the cost of operations, and improve productivity. They have a programmable control system, and also allow to reduce farmers’ exposure to chemicals. The project provides a 60% subsidy of the drone’s cost. There is also the possibility of renting a drone.

In addition, the initiative involves the training on drone control for communities, targeting 1,000 trainees in five regions, as well as drone repair training for 100 technicians.

(Source: Bangkok Post)

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