The recent 2nd Shenzhen International UAV Exposition brought renewed attention to the cross-boundary development of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones), with the practical applications for agriculture a particular focus.
Gan Jie, Associate Dean and Professor of Finance at CKGSB, who is also a director at leading Chinese UAV firm DJI, spoke to the Financial Times about the rapid development of UAVs in agriculture, with drones being used to spray pesticide, saving people’s time and labor, reducing health fears and helping to improve efficiency.
Speaking to the FT’s Louise Lucas on the sidelines of a recent forum that CKGSB hosted in Shenzhen, Prof Gan was quoted in an article titled “Drone makers zero in on commercial opportunities” about two obstacles of applying UAVs in agriculture.
Farmers can also be less willing team players and resist sharing essential data picked up by drones, says Gan Jie, associate dean for technology innovation and entrepreneurship at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing and a director at DJI.
“A lot of large agricultural companies are dominated by state-owned players and it is very hard to collaborate with them,” she says.
“The good thing is [the US is] a free market but, on the other hand, a lot of farm owners are thinking: ‘Why should I collaborate with you? I can use you to spray [fertiliser] but why should I give you my data? This kind of data are a public good but everyone wants to be a free rider.”
Prof Gan also produces a quarterly, large-scale survey on China’s industrial economic, creating some of the best independent data available, which was cited in another FT article titled “China polishes up rust belt with switch to creative industries”, which touched on the topic of China’s economic transformation and upgrading:
Gan Jie, an economist at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, estimates that industrial overcapacity accounts for about 7.6 per cent of existing capacity in China. “That gives you some idea of how much industry still needs to close or be upgraded,” she says.
Prof Gan’s latest quarterly survey, which has been running for more than three years, can be read in full here.