Farmers in the Levant will soon be able to use drones to gather data from their farms and distribute it to farmers in remote areas for the first time.
The drones will be piloted by the Israeli-led military, which is leading the effort to expand agricultural productivity in the region.
The Israeli military said it will allow farmers to operate drones that will monitor the land they cultivate and collect data on the crop they plant.
The drones will provide an alternative to landmines that are a common threat to agriculture in the Middle East, where farmers have been plagued by the threat of deadly mines.
A military official told The Hill that farmers will be able use drones as part of the Israel Defense Forces’ Agricultural Drone Program.
The military said farmers will use drones for three main purposes: collecting and analyzing data about their crops, identifying soil conditions, and surveying the crop’s productivity.
It will also use drones in conjunction with satellite-based monitoring equipment to collect and analyze data about crops.
Israel began developing drones in the late 1970s, with a goal to have them on the battlefield by 2020.
Israel has also been expanding its drone program to include more areas of the Middle Eastern desert, such as the Negev Desert.
The IDF said farmers would be able utilize drones to collect data from the ground and gather information about soil conditions and crop yields, and will be trained to use them safely.
The new drones will have an estimated cost of $500,000, but the military said they could eventually be used to harvest up to 500 metric tons of wheat a year.
In addition to drone deployment, the military plans to provide support to farmers with surveillance equipment, communications, and logistical support.
The official said drones would also be used for field surveys, but that the military would not be able provide such assistance in the future.
The program, which was announced in November, will involve the Israeli military and Israeli industry, with the goal of expanding agricultural productivity and enhancing agriculture in regions where farmers face challenges such as mines.
In 2015, Israel and Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding on agricultural drone technology.
Egypt’s Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food, which oversees the country’s drone program, said the agreement will help improve Egypt’s agricultural production.
Egypt has recently launched an unmanned aerial surveillance program, called the Sinai program, to help monitor and identify potential threats to agriculture and livestock.
In May, the Egyptian government announced that it would launch a drone program that would help farmers with farming in the Sinai Peninsula, including by providing aerial surveillance and field monitoring, among other services.