An enterprising 22-year-old graduate from Kedah started a business that made the most out of the restrictions during the Movement Control Order (MCO)
Since the start of April, Mohd Saifullah Halim from Kampung Paya Nedam, Pendang, began offering farmers the service of spraying pesticide on their paddy fields using drones.
He told Bernama that he chose to venture into this business as he knew it would be a good source of income.
"I made this exact decision after completing my studies," said the technology major from vocational college Jitra Industrial Training Institute (ILP).
Mohd Saifullah said he first started out with a single drone on an 11-hectare paddy field in his village
Soon he received many more requests from his father's friends and neighbours when they realised how much better the drone was at dispensing pesticide.
According to China Daily, agriculture drones can usually carry up to 10kg of pesticide and cover a hectare of a rice paddy field in half an hour. A manual labourer would take five hours to do the same task.
"Besides that, [the farmers] prefer spraying using drones because the pesticide spreads out more evenly, which increases their yields compared to the normal practice of using pumps," explained the youth.
Demand for the service came pouring in during the MCO as some paddy farmers became very cautious and did not want to leave their homes
"So I bought another drone to expand the service and to cater to the increasing needs of farmers around this area," he said, as quoted by Harian Metro.
Mohd Saifullah said together with two assistants, they can now spray up to 10 hectares of paddy fields a day, while charging between RM12 to RM20 for every 0.29 hectare of paddy field.
The youth said he has made up to RM5,000 a month and has been receiving more requests from Yan and Alor Star, which are more than 30 minutes away from his village.
Mohd Saifullah added that said that there are now also requests from vegetable farmers for the same service, and he encouraged other youths to venture into this untapped market.