In view of making farming more economical and also saving time, a group of young entrepreneurs in Kerala has developed drones that can be rented to farmers for a variety of activities such as spraying fertilizer and checking crop health. An agri start up venture by these young talented engineers based at Chalakkudy. The usage of drones assumes significance, especially in precision farming, to double production and halve the production costs.These emerging engineering talents vouch that drones could play a key role in improving the prospects of the farmers. “ Besides using it for sowing of seeds, fertilizer and pesticides application, the in-built spectrum camera could help assess crop health, water deficiency, detection of plant diseases,” said Swathin Sidharth, CEO of Trekonik, a start-up venture by these engineers.
Seeking grants for its commercial development, they have approached the Kerala Startup Mission, which short-listed their idea for the finals. “We have successfully completed two rounds of presentation and are waiting for final rounds to avail of funds for the prototyping,” informed Sidharth. According to him, the payload of drones are specially designed with a 15 kg capacity. By using the equipment, a farmer could complete sowing of seeds in half a day on one-acre plot without going for any refilling as in the case of manual labour.
Asked on the production cost, he said it will be ₹2 lakh. “Initially, we are targeting to supply drones on a rental basis to farmers who hold 20 acres of land and above. The response for the pilot project was encouraging from the sector,” he added. TP Sethumadhavan, former Director of Entrepreneurship, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, said the usage of drones assumes significance, especially in precision farming, to double production and halve the production costs.
Krishi Jagran/New Delhi