Mada says drone use for pesticide spraying safe

EMBUN MAJID


ALOR STAR: The use of drones for aerial spraying of pesticides in paddy fields will not harm the environment, human and animals, said Muda Agriculture Development Authority (Mada) chairman Datuk Othman Aziz today.


He said Mada has taken into consideration the impact in the use of drone for aerial spraying and assured that it will be carried out in a controlled environment and manned by trained handlers.


Othman said Mada would begin using drone to spray pesticides in the coming planting season that is expected to begin between this month and April.


“The drone will fly between two and three metres from the ground and within the paddy plot so the pesticide will no spread elsewhere,” he said to reporters after launching the drone at MadaCorp Agroservices Sdn Bhd here today.


Othman was commenting on a statement by Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) which has voiced its objection on the use of drones for pesticides spraying.


CAP president S M Mohamed Idris had claimed that aerial spraying of pesticide will cause serious air pollution and causes other health issues associated with pesticides more easily and widely.


Othman pointed out that Mada has conducted trial run for the drone in Pendang and it showed that the pesticide was evenly spread in the paddy area.


He added the trial run also showed that the aerial spraying is well controlled and did not affect the surrounding area.


Othman said for the pilot project, Mada will be using 10 drones on 2,000 hectares of paddy land under its purview.