OQ backs use of drone technology in Oman's agricultural sector

Cooperation agreement covers Agricultural Drone Technology and Expertise Exchange

Drone with camera in field. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Drone with camera in field. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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OQ, the global integrated group of the Sultanate, is supporting an initiative that seeks to harness the potential of drone technology in developing Oman’s increasingly important agricultural sector.

A Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to this effect has been signed by the wholly government-owned energy group with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MoAFWR).

It is part of a slate of initiatives and programmes supported by OQ in line with its corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitments.

Commenting on its support for the ‘Agricultural Drone Technology and Expertise Exchange Project’, the energy group said: “OQ is dedicated to not only offer solutions and products for sustainable utilisation of natural resources for the benefits of humanity but to also play its part in supporting its partners in this quest. An MOU was signed with the MoAFWR to support the strategic projects and studies the Ministry aims to carry out.

In the agricultural sector, drones have so far been deployed to, among other things, fight the deadly Dubas bug that afflicts date palm trees, as well as desert locust swarms that infested part of the Sultanate last year.

The unmanned devices also play a role in the pollination of date palms.

OQ’s newly published ‘Social Investment Report 2020’ lists a variety of projects and initiatives that the company has supported as part of its CSR commitments for the year.

In partnership with Sohar Port and Freezone and five of the latter’s tenants, OQ funded the establishment of a regional molecular PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) laboratory in North Al Batinah Governorate on behalf of the Ministry of Health. The initiative was hailed for its timeliness.

Further, with a view to engendering a scientific temperament among children and the youth, OQ is investing in the establishment of a pair of Science & Innovation Centres in Ibri and Al Buraimi.

“The centres are state of the art facilities with an ambition to act as hubs for the creative and daring minds. With the Fourth Industrial Revolution upon us, the centre aims to promote innovation and engagement in sciences and to foster learning, problem-solving, risk-taking and great ideas! It will offer several learning facilities such as a planetarium, innovation and multipurpose halls, a theatre, a public library and more,” the report said.

Included in the sizable portfolio of social investment projects backed by OQ are initiatives in support of healthcare, education, environment, tourism, and R&D.

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