Pakistan-made drones to fight locusts

Sci-tech minister says technology will also be used to assist police surveillance


Waqas Ahmed July 24, 2020
Demonstration of drones being developed in collaboration between Ministry of Science and Technology and ABM SATUMA. PHOTO: TWITTER/@MinistryofST

ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan has achieved another feat in the field of science and technology. After ‘Made in Pakistan’ ventilators, the Ministry of Science and Technology with the cooperation of the private sector has completed the process of manufacturing drones for elimination of locusts and assist police surveillance.

“Initially, 30 drones will be used to spray in fields for locust control as effective tool against the insect as spraying through big airplanes in the field is not possible,” Federal Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said while talking to the media persons in Sihala, Islamabad on Friday.

Explaining his idea, the minister said that 25 drones can spray against locust in a big area at a time. “Around 25 drones can easily spray on 10 to 20 acres of land,” he said.

The federal minister also examined the drones and witnessed them conducting spray.
Fawad said, “Besides agriculture, drones can be used by police for surveillance also.”

Fawad said that drones technology would also be used for surveillance on Islamabad and by Motorway police. “While use of drones in Karachi would help reduce the increasing street crimes,” he added.

He said that the National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) had already been tasked to focus on manufacturing drones.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, “we were not producing any of the equipment on our own be it gloves, masks or protective shields”, the minister said, adding that but now the country was capable enough of manufacturing 99% of the medical equipment to deal with this challenge.

“We are not only catering to the local needs but Pakistan has now become a major exporter of all these products,” Fawad said. He said that after reduction in coronavirus cases in the country, he would now talk to the relevant ministries of health, commerce and industries regarding lifting ban on N-95 masks and personal protective equipment exports.

He said that the Ministry of Science and Technology had set a target to replace imports worth $3 billion during the next three to five years. The minister said such an impression about Pakistan lagging behind in the technology sector was absolutely incorrect.

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