The news: Pakistan has developed indigenous drones which will be used to fight against the ongoing locust infestation in agricultural areas. The drones were developed by a collaboration between the Ministry of Science and Technology and the private sector. These drones will also be used for surveillance by law enforcement authorities.
The drones: After the successful production of ventilators, Pakistan has finished the process of manufacturing drones. The Federal Minister of Science & Technology Fawad Chaudhry said that spraying pesticide through big airplanes in the fields of crops is not possible. This is why 30 drones will be used in the beginning to spray the crops in fields as an effective tool against the desert locusts which are destroying the crops. He said that 25 drones can easily spray on 10 to 20 acres of land. The minister also examined the manufactured drones and observed their spraying capabilities.
Surveillance: Chaudhry explained that other than the locust attack, manufacturing of drones can bode well for Pakistan because they can be used by police for surveillance as well. The Islamabad and motorway police will be using the drones to monitor streets and highways. He pointed out that using these drones for surveillance will also help reduce the number of street crimes in Karachi. The National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) has already been asked to undertake the manufacturing of additional drones.
Self-sufficient technology: The federal minister pointed out that before the coronavirus outbreak, the country was not producing any equipment on its own. Gloves, masks or protective shields were not being manufactured locally. However, Pakistan is now capable of manufacturing 99% of the medical equipment required to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. He further explained that Pakistan is not only fulfilling its national requirement, but also exports all of these products to other countries. He also claimed that when the threat of the covid-19 pandemic is lower, he will talk to the relevant ministries such as health and commerce and the industries to negotiate lifting the ban on N-95 masks and personal protective equipment exports. The Ministry of Science & Technology has set a goal of converting imports worth $3 billion into locally sourced and manufactured products within the next three to five years.