UAE ministry completes aerial mapping of 550km² farming land

UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment mapped 41 categories of statistical data as part of Phase 1 of the project

The ministry used drones for the project.
The ministry used drones for the project.

UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has completed Phase 1 of its aerial mapping project using drones, covering an area of 550km² of agricultural land in the emirates of Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain.

As part of the first phase, the ministry mapped 41 categories of statistical data and used artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse raw information.

According to a report by UAE’s state-held news agency Wam, 895 out of the 5,637 farms were crop farms and 2,919 were animal farms. The crop farms comprise 35,535 fruit trees and 200,230 trees serve as windbreakers.

The project indicated the presence of 5,635 farm buildings which included labour accommodations, barns, and warehouses, 362 wells, and 3,447 protected farms — 2,635 of which had netting installed to protect crops. There were 73,344 Ghaf trees accounted for through the project.

UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, said in a statement: "Through leveraging drones for the spatial data collection on farms, MOCCAE is keen to establish an accurate database of actionable statistical information to inform decision making and planning."

“The move will help us optimise the allocation of natural resources and expand sustainable agriculture,” added Al Zeyoudi.

Phase 2 of the project is scheduled to begin in October and will be completed in December 2019. This phase will include aerial mapping of agricultural areas in Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah.

According to Al Zeyoudi, once the project is completed, the UAE will be placed among the top five countries in the world in terms of area surveyed using unmanned aerial vehicles, reported Wam.

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