​This year, for the first time, the Department of Agriculture took part in the UVID International Security Technology Conference. The conference, held for the eighth time, includes for the very first time, a "non-security" session on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in agriculture 

The Ministry of Agriculture keeps abreast of the changes occurring in the world and is alert to the growing need for the use of technology that will, on the one hand promote precision agriculture and on the other hand - increase yields. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) constitute a significant technological leap and are capable of providing the grower with a detailed snapshot of the field and plot. During the UAV's flight, the grower can receive data about the various parameters relating to the field that are transmitted directly to the mobile phone – thus the grower can make informed decisions that will ultimately result in higher yields and quality crops.

The State of Israel is globally positioned as a leader in the field of UAVs. These vehicles were initially developed in Israel for the security purposes, and gradually entered the agricultural arena as well. As a result, the Ministry has advanced and positioned itself in the UVID conference, where it will present the representatives of the various countries with the numerous uses and advantages that can be derived from unmanned aerial vehicles – and not only for their original security purposes. For the first time ever at the conference, it will include a "non-security" session featuring unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, drones, and more) used for a variety of field operations and helping to reduce the consumption of inputs (water, pesticides, fertilizers and the like) as well as to increase crop yields and quality by applying techniques of precision agriculture.

This is the eighth year that UVID Security Technology Conference is held in Israel. Up to now, the conference focused solely on the security worlds. This year, thanks to the growing interest in UAVs for agriculture, the Ministry of Agriculture has initiated a new session dedicated to agriculture.

The start-ups showcasing their technology at the conference include Tevel, which offers the possibility to perform picking, thinning and pruning tasks in orchards using autonomous drones. Drones provide a holistic harvesting solution for growers, that includes information on the entire plot and plant conditions, as well as harvesting – all at the same time. Another company offering UAV based solutions to farmers is Agridrones Solutions, which offers autonomous, economical and efficient spraying with a wide coverage capability that can be performed under all weather conditions.

Dr. Michal Levy, Senior Vice President, Agriculture Innovation, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development: "The Ministry of Agriculture is proud to take part in this important conference that once again proves the tremendous power of Israeli technology. Over the past two years, the Ministry of Agriculture has spent about NIS 30 million on advancing innovative agricultural solutions. In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of start-up companies engaged in agricultural technology in general, and in UAVs in particular. The Ministry of Agriculture will continue to work to ensure that Israeli agriculture will remain a source of national pride, and we will do our utmost to increase the efficiency of Israeli and global agriculture and to promote the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the field of agriculture."