Tunisia and the African Development Bank (AFDB) have signed an agreement for the launch of a pilot project to use drones for data collection to enhance management of agricultural projects in the country.
The project, to be implemented over the next 10 months, would receive technical management and assistance from South Korea, Minister Zied Laadhari announced during the signing ceremony on Thursday, July 26, 2018.
Laadhari, Tunisia’s Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation, was joined by Park Jae-Min, Vice-Mayor of Busan City and Mohamed El Azizi, Director General of the Bank’s North Africa office. The ceremony was also attended by Agriculture Minister Samir Taïeb, and Korea’s ambassador to Tunisia, Cho Koo-Rae.
The pilot project will focus on agricultural operations in Sidi Bouzid in central Tunisia, under the management of Busan Techno Park, a Korean government agency based in Busan, South Korea. Laadhari said the agency would provide equipment – drones and associated computer systems – training, as well as technology transfer.
The agency has already tested the drones for efficacy in managing similar urban projects. Korea is a leading country in the development and use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for real-time data collection and processing. Drones have been used in agriculture to provide fast and accurate data, helping to improve decision-making at all stages of a project, from preparation to implementation and evaluation.
Laadhari said the pilot was expected to benefit piloting and monitoring of irrigated areas, management of water resources, water tables as well as the effects of climate change in the pilot area.
A founding member of the Bank Group, Tunisia was one of its first beneficiaries in 1967. Currently, the Bank’s portfolio in Tunisia is worth over $2.3 billion covering more than 40 projects and programmes.