1. Agriculture World

MP, Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab & Tamil Nadu Plan to Roll out Drones for Fertilizer Use in Next Few Months: Sources

State governments are working with drone manufacturing companies, farmer producer organisations, and state agriculture universities to roll out drones that can be used for fertiliser spraying in the next two to three months.

Chintu Das
Drone Use In Agriculture
Drone Use In Agriculture

According to multiple sources close to the development, state governments in Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Madhya Pradesh are working with drone manufacturing companies, farmer producer organisations, and state agriculture universities to roll out drones that can be used for fertiliser spraying in the next two to three months.

"State governments are aiming to take advantage of the central government's 100 percent subsidy for the procurement of drones for agricultural purposes, and they want to boost efficiency and productivity by deploying drones," a senior government official said.

Drones to be used for spraying fertilisers have already been tested in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana, and farmer producer organisations in these regions are anticipated to begin employing the drones shortly, he added.

"Multiple models are being evaluated for the deployment of drones to be used by farmers," said another government source. "State government is also working with state institutions to familiarise farmers with the usage of drones."

Drones would be purchased by state agriculture universities or Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institutes across the country, he added, and then work with farmers to deploy drones on their fields.

According to government authorities, farmers would be able to rent drones capable of carrying a 10-kg payload for as little as Rs 350-450 per acre, based on preliminary estimations.

"The figure is based on the expectation that a drone with numerous batteries will be used for at least six hours every day, covering around 30 acres of agriculture," a second government source explained.

In January, the central government approved a 100 percent subsidy to Agricultural Institutes for the procurement of drones for farming and related operations up to the cost of Rs 10 lakh.

The government also declared that 'Kisan' drones will be utilised for crop assessments, digitalization of land records, and spraying of pesticides and fertilisers as part of the Union Budget for 2022-23.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, as well as the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee, gave interim clearance last week for the commercial use of drones to spray roughly 477 insecticides, fungicides, and plant growth regulators.

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