SARAI Conducts a Drone Training for Agricultural Applications in Victoria, Oriental Mindoro

MINSCAT, Alcate, Victoria, Oriental Mindoro – The Project Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate the Agriculture as an Industry (SARAI), in partnership with Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology (MINSCAT) conducted a two-day Drone Training for Agricultural Applications last March 12-13, 2020 at MINSCAT Main Campus at Alcate, Victoria, Oriental Mindoro. 

This training is one of Project SARAI’s objectives to capacitate the co-implementing SUCs with the skills and knowledge in operating Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) also known as Drone and processing aerial images for agricultural applications. According to Prof. Nelio Altoveros, SARAI 2.2 (Maintenance & Enhanced Connectivity of Existing AWS Units under PCAARRD) Project Leader and a Professor from Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics, College of Arts and Sciences, UPLB, this training aims to fully optimize the application of UAV agriculture and research.

The team led by Prof. Altoveros demonstrated basic drone flying operations, specifically, how to navigate the remote control, the pre-flight checks, set-up and the post flight checks. He also introduced several types, models, and applications of drones and the fundamentals of drone operation. 

At first, the participants tried to fly drones using the Flight Simulator. After the simulation, experts and the participants went outside for the actual hands-on experience. 

On second day of the training, Dr. Ranzivelle Marianne L. Roxas-Villanueva, SARAI Project Staff and also a Professor from IMSP, CAS, UPLB discussed the Aerial Imaging and Processing of the Aerial Images. Participants tried hands-on processing of aerial images using their laptops. The processed aerial images taken inside the MINSCAT Campus were then presented to the MINSCAT President Dr. Levy B. Arago, Jr. The university president was impressed and had a positive response to the adaption of drones for agricultural applications and research. 

On the other hand, Mr. Rodel L. Pompa, an Agricultural Extension Worker of Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro said “Makakatulong ang technology at ang training na ito sa aming LGU since mapapabilis nya yung monitoring sa mga taniman specially ‘pag may bagyo” (This technology and training will help our LGU since it will hasten our monitoring of crops particularly during typhoons).Faculty and Researchers of MINSCAT, Agricultural Engineers from DOST Provincial Office, Agriculturists and Technicians from different LGUs such as Calapan and Pinamalayan, and from the Provincial Agricultural Office of Oriental Mindoro attended this two-day training. -RM Areglado and Reg Regalado

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