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Government Approves 477 Pesticides for Drone Usage

In order to fast track agri-drone adoption the Ministry of Agriculture has granted interim approval to 477 pesticides for drone usage.

Abha Toppo

The Drone Federation of India (DFI) said that in order to fast track agri-drone adoption the Ministry of Agriculture has granted interim approval to 477 pesticides for drone usage.

Previously, every pesticide had to be approved by the Central Insecticide Board & Registration Committee which used to take 18 to 24 months. The 477 registered pesticides comprise insecticides, fungicides & plant growth regulators (PGRs), for commercial usage through drones for 2 years.

DFI in a statement said, "The Union agriculture ministry & the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIB&RC) have given this interim approval".

The federation further said that the pesticide companies already registered with the CIB&RC who want to use registered chemical pesticides with drones can inform the board's secretariat of pesticide dosage, crop details, data generation action plan along with other required information.

The statement added "In case pesticide firms would like to continue using drones for spraying pesticides after 2 years then they will have to generate essential data during the interim period & get it validated from the CIB&RC".

But, the drone operators will have to stick to the agriculture ministry's Standard operating procedure or SOP for using drones to spray pesticides & nutrients.

DFI president Smit Shah said, "Drones are taking over agricultural farms with advanced applications like spraying chemical pesticides & nutrients, surveying farmlands, and monitoring soil & crop health. The use of drones for agriculture spraying reduces the contact of human beings with fertilizers, pesticides & other harmful chemicals”.

Shah further said that "After the liberalization of the drone policy & providing government subsidy for buying the drones for agricultural activities, the decision to give interim approval to the knapsack registered pesticides will increase the utilization of Kisan Drones."

Earlier this year, PM Narendra Modi had underlined the need for larger usage of drones in the agriculture sector. He said, "Artificial intelligence is going to completely change the trade related to agriculture & farming in the 21st century. The greater use of Kisan drones in farming is part of this change”.

Source - ANI news agency

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