3 Aug 2023 18:34

Russian AgMin orders nearly 300 drones for 2024-2025

NOVOSIBIRSK. Aug 3 (Interfax) - The volume of the Agriculture Ministry' state procurement order for drones in 2023-2026 is 299 units worth 526 million rubles, while fisheries agency Rosrybolovstvo has ordered 153 units worth 221.2 million rubles, according to a presentation made at the Field Day forum in the Novosibirsk region on Thursday.

According to Agriculture Ministry data for 2022, 229 drones are currently being used in the Russian agricultural sector.

Roman Nekrasov, director of the ministry's department of crop production, mechanization, chemicalization and plant protection, told the forum that the provision of the agricultural sector with drones is currently included in Rosagroleasing's programs. "We have included drones in Rusagroleasing programs in order to be able to purchase and use them," he noted.

The ministry also expects the sector to employ heavy drones. "If we have the authorization, and I am sure that someday we will arrive at this, we will have the appropriate authorization and the ability to use heavy unmanned aircraft systems, then this area will develop," he said.

In early May of this year, the Agriculture Ministry posted a draft order on the regulation.gov.ru website, which proposed allowing agricultural producers to purchase drones, including those with the use of artificial intelligence technology, using investment loans raised for the development of crop production. This was in regards to lending agreements concluded from January 1, 2017 for a period of 2 to 5 years inclusive.

At the same time, the use of drones is currently prohibited in a number of Russian regions.