Rediff.com  » Business » Centre gives big push for use of drones in agriculture

Centre gives big push for use of drones in agriculture

By Sanjeeb Mukherjee
January 22, 2022 11:13 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

The Centre has, perhaps for the first time, decided to provide funding support to farmer-producer organisations, krishi vigyan kendras, custom hiring centres, and individuals for purchasing them.

Photograph: ANI Photo.

To promote the use of drones in agriculture, the Centre has, perhaps for the first time, decided to provide funding support to farmer-producer organisations, krishi vigyan kendras, custom hiring centres, and individuals for purchasing them.

According to the latest guidelines issued by the Sub-Mission on Agriculture Mechanisation, for buying drones, the central government will provide 100 per cent funding support of up to Rs 10 lakh to agriculture training institutes and krishi vigyan kendras, and 75 per cent funding support for drones purchased by FPOs.

 

That apart, the Centre will provide financial support of up to Rs 6,000 per hectare to agencies that buy or hire drones for demonstration.

In addition to research institutes and FPOs, the Centre will provide 40 per cent financial support up to Rs 4 lakh to CHCs set up by cooperatives and FPOs for purchasing drones, while 50 per cent or up to Rs 5 lakh will be given for drone purchase to agriculture graduates establishing CHCs.

The proposals for purchasing drones will be applicable till March 31, 2023.

Welcoming the decision, Smit Shah, president of the Drone Federation of India, said with a standard agriculture drone model costing Rs 8-10 lakh, this step had made the purchase of agricultural drones nearly free for leading agri-research and agri-training institutes.

“These institutes will provide demonstrations across the country to promote agri-drone use. The subsidised purchase of agri-drones for FPOs, CHCs, and agri-entrepreneurs will make them affordable, leading to their rapid adoption,” Shah said.

A few weeks ago, the Centre came up with the standard operating procedure (SOP) for using drones for agriculture, including spraying pesticides and plant chemicals.

According to the ministry, the SOP for drone regulation on pesticide application covers important aspects. According to the SOP, operators should use only approved pesticides and their formulations in certified concentrations and from sanctioned heights.

They will have to wash decontamination and first-aid facilities and notify the public about aerial applications of pesticide not less than 24 hours in advance through competent authorities. Further, the pilots should undergo specialised training including clinical effects of insecticides, the ministry added.

The SOP covers other aspects like flying permissions, area distance restrictions, weight classifications, overcrowded areas restrictions, drone registration, safety insurance, piloting certification etc.

In conventional agricultural practices, pesticides are sprayed either manually or with the help of tractor-mounted sprayers where high quantities of pesticides and water are used and where a sizable portion of the spray is wasted.

However, drone-based spray requires less water as well as pesticides due to better application and bio-efficiency.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Sanjeeb Mukherjee in New Delhi
Source: source
 

Moneywiz Live!