Japanese Farmers Test New UAV Written 24 August 2018

Reuters reports that for the last few months, Japanese farmers have been “testing a new drone that can hover above paddy fields and perform backbreaking tasks in a fraction of the time” if performed by hand. The Nilework Nile-T18 UAV can apply “pesticides and fertilizer to a rice field in about 15 minutes – a job that takes more than an hour by hand and requires farmers to lug around heavy tanks.” The company hopes to “ease the physical burden and improve productivity in rural areas battling decades of falling birth rates and migration to urban areas.” Nileworks is now negotiating with authorities “to allow operators to fly its drone without a license,” and plans to begin selling the UAV in May 2019, “with an annual target of 100 units in year one and 4,000 in five years.” Other companies, such as SkymatiX – a joint venture of Mitsubishi and Hitachi – are also working to offer UAV services to farmers. 
More Info (Reuters)