The Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the African Development Bank and Busan Techno Park has trained the first batch of drone pilots.
The training which focused on handling, maintenance and the security aspects of flying drones, took place in Tunis last month. The first batch of 8 out of 40 candidates selected for the exercise, which envisages training a total of 400 young Tunisians by 2021.
The project will also see the setting up of a training center equipped with training drones as well as computer simulation tools for drone control a communication made available to the CDA Consult through APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).
This center is expected to be upgraded to a center of excellence in drone technology. The training also focused on promoting drone-centered activities in Tunisia in view of promoting efficiency and effectiveness.
“It is very good training. I want to share my experience. I would like to participate in this project and contribute for the development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in my country Tunisia and my region, Africa,” said Lazhar Meskine, an air traffic management engineer, who was among the trainees.
After accumulating 20 hours of flight time and passing the practical flight, they obtained a “Drone Pilot Certificate” recognised by the Tunisian government.
The four best trainees from this first batch will undergo further training for eight weeks to accumulate 100 hours of flight time. This will make them eligible to take the certification examination and qualify as drone pilot trainers.
The participants were highly enthusiastic about the training.
“I have also learned many things through Tunisian trainees. It gives us a great chance to understand the local situation for further projects by using drone technologies,” their instructor, Mr. Yong-ju Seo, added.
The pilot project on the use of drones for agricultural development projects in the Sidi Bouzid region is financed by a grant from the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) under the management of the African Development Bank and Busan Techno Park.
The Busan Techno Park 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.
The 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.