During the harvest season for navel oranges, drones carrying boxes of the fruit have become a common sight in a district of Ganzhou, Jiangxi province. These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were put into use in Nankang district as part of the local government's efforts to deliver agricultural products for e-commerce and help boost local growers' incomes in the region.
In November 2018, Xu Chaodong, a local fruit grower, received a special invitation from courier service provider SF Express, his long-term business partner. "They wanted to start a trial for drone deliveries," said Xu, adding that his produce would be sent to the distribution center after being picked and packed by growers and carried by drones.
In August 2017, the Civil Aviation Administration of China launched a pilot project in Nankang to help local growers increase their incomes with the help of drone delivery.
In March 2018, SF Express received China's first operating license for experimental drone deliveries in Nankang district from the East China Regional Administration of CAAC. "The drone delivery project has covered five townships in Nankang, and benefited about 26,000 rural households," Fang Yuan, head of the project at SF Express, told epaper.chinadaily.com.cn.
The drone logistics project has given "wings" to the development of local industry in the rural area, Xu added.
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