A man controls a drone spraying pesticides on crops on a farm in Bozhou in Anhui Province. (Photo : Getty Images)
The MG-1S, an upgraded agricultural drone, was launched by DJI Innovation Technology Co, the country's largest commercial drone maker, on Monday, Nov. 28, along with various financial services and training to help users purchase and operate the drone.
China Daily said the new drone represents an innovation in drone's flying stability, accuracy and efficiency. The MG-1S is equipped with advanced flight control system, sensors and radar. It is also capable of creating its own spraying routes and works automatically.
DJI's first agricultural drone, the MG-1, was launched in Nov. 2015, which marked its foray into the drone industry market. The MG-1 was designed for crop spraying and it can carry up to 10 kilograms of liquid, it can cover 7-10 acres per hour at a maximum flying speed of 8m/second.
The sales of MG-1 in China had reached more than 2,500 units, which account for about 70 percent of the domestic farm drone market, according to DJI. The company also established more than 200 sales service stations in more than 30 provinces.
Shipping of the MG-1S, which cost 42,000 yuan ($6,071), is expected to start in the first quarter of 2017.
"We hope to cooperate with more farmland protection service providers, land contractors and financial firms in the fields of pilot training and employment, drones operation," Cao Nan, the sales director of DJI's global agricultural drones, said.
Cao said that many farmers could not afford to buy agricultural drones because they do not have money and they lack training. To address this, DJI has offered some support measures to help farmers such as purchase by instalments, training courses and employment opportunities with the company's partners.
"The launch of DJI's new farm-specific drones will drive its competitors such as XAircraft Technology Co Ltd to accelerate the update of their related products," according toJean Xiao, a research manager who tracks drones and wearable products at market research firm IDC.