Written by the Web Team


A multi-functional flying device called Drone is being considered as potential monitoring instrument that will help researchers gather accurate data and conduct studies efficiently.

Roger Barroga, lead of Future Rice Program in the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), said that a training program on drone technology will be conducted following its recent introduction to the savants early this month.

To be implemented with the University of Southern Mindanao next year, the training program  will highlight flight tutorials and application of the drone`s features.

The technology features a high definition camera, flight stabilizer, and GPS (Global Positioning System) that allows users to program its flight path. It can fly for 8-10 min and can travel up to a maximum distance of 2 km.

Barroga said that the technology can be maximized for research activities such as  data collection, tracking growth patterns, and pests and nutrient management.

Meanwhile, Dr. Dindo Tabanao, head of PhilRice Plant Breeding and Biotechnology Division, said that in a wider scale, drone can be used to inspect damages during calamities, monitor rice fields during crop establishment, and assess real time conditions in areas to be possibly hit by El Niño.

Researchers also said that the device can help reduce cost in multi-location monitoring and trials.

“We will further explore the technology`s features so researchers could spend their time efficiently,” Tabanao added.

The drone is available in the country and is sold for at least P25,000.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute