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Tamil Nadu Farmers Urge Agriculture Engineering Dept to Buy, Rent out Drones at Nominal Prices

Farmers from the Nagapattinam district requested the agriculture engineering department to buy and rent drones for nano urea spraying at reasonable rates.

Chintu Das
Drones In Agriculture
Drones In Agriculture

Farmers from the Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu requested the agriculture engineering department to buy and rent drones for nano urea spraying at reasonable rates. The solid urea, which is allegedly in severe shortage throughout the coastal delta regions, has been replaced by nano urea (liquid) fertilizer, which is being promoted by the agricultural department, ICAR-Krishi Vigyan Kendra, IFFCO, and other institutions.

They recommend using it either with a human workforce or with drones. The farmers find the use of drones impressive, but they are turned off by the expensive rental fees. A farmer from Kilvelur named S Ramadoss commented, "Given their high cost, renting drones is challenging. We ask the agriculture engineering department to buy drones for each revenue village and rent them to farmers, much like they used to do with tractors, transplanters, and harvesters. After that, the department can lease them out at a low cost." The farmers claim that a worker charges Rs 20 to spray a tank of nano urea.

To cover an acre of land, around 15 tanks are required. As a result, the total fee will be close to Rs 300. An acre may be covered by a drone with a ten-litre tank, and the cost would be roughly Rs 500.

Thus, the farmers consider the drone-spraying method to be costly. Thirumarugal farmer representative V Ramakrishnan stated: "Finding drone operators who provide cheaper spraying rates is challenging. Even when the agriculture engineering department rents out drones, farmers should also contribute financially."

Previously, the farmers applied 45 kilogram bags of solid urea, each costing Rs 270. Nano urea started to become more significant over time. The cost of a 500 ml bottle of nano urea is roughly Rs 240. Farmers must be advised by officials and experts to mix nano urea with water before applying it to the paddy.

Comparing nano urea to solid types of urea, the agriculture department claims that nano urea is simpler to apply in the fields. Additionally, its application increases yield by 8%. The use of drones could enable the coverage of more areas. One acre, for instance, might be covered in under five minutes. Using it also lessens the requirement for manual labour when there is a labour shortage.

An Agriculture Engineering Department official stated, "We are aware that the cost of maintaining drones contributes to the high rental cost of using them. We have informed the authorities of the farmers' request to purchase and rent drones."

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