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Drone pilots trained for agricultural productivity

Editorial

Eight pilots have successfully passed their drone flight training in Tunisia following a two-week intensive training period organised by the Ministry of Agriculture of Tunisia, the African Development Bank and Busan Techno Park.

The training focused on handling, maintenance and the security aspects of flying drones. The eight were the first batch out of 40 candidates selected for the exercise, which envisages training a total of 400 young Tunisians by 2021.

The project will also see the setting up of a training centre equipped with training drones, as well as computer simulation tools for drone control. This centre is expected to be upgraded to a centre of excellence in drone technology. The training also focused on promoting drone-centered activities in Tunisia in view of promoting efficiency and effectiveness.

“It is very good training. I want to share my experience. I would like to participate in this project and contribute for the development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in my country Tunisia and my region, Africa,” said Lazhar Meskine, an air traffic management engineer, who was among the trainees.

After accumulating 20 hours of flight time and passing the practical flight, they obtained a “Drone Pilot Certificate” recognised by the Tunisian government. The four best trainees from this first batch will undergo further training for eight weeks to accumulate 100 hours of flight time. This will make them eligible to take the certification examination and qualify as drone pilot trainers.

The participants were enthusiastic about the training.

“I have also learned many things through Tunisian trainees. It gives us a great chance to understand the local situation for further projects by using drone technologies,” their instructor, Yong-ju Seo, added.

The pilot project on the use of drones for agricultural development projects in the Sidi Bouzid regionis financed by a grant from the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation, under the management of the African Development Bank and Busan Techno Park. Busan Techno Park has already tested the drones for efficacy in managing similar urban projects.

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