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Syngenta India Begins 10,000 km Drone Yatra to Educate Farmers on Drone Spraying

Syngenta India will soon launch a Grower App that gives digital agronomy advice for 9 crops including wheat, cotton, vegetables, rice and maize in many languages. It is a unique app, which digitally empowers smallholders.

Abha Toppo
drone yatra
Syngenta team kicks off the drone yatra

Country Head & MD of Syngenta India Susheel Kumar and Chief Information & Digital Officer, Syngenta Group Feroz Sheikh today flagged off India’s first Drone Yatra, which will travel 10,000 kilometers to create awareness on drone spraying among 10,000 farmers. The Yatra will travel to 13 states to educate farmers on the use of drones.

Syngenta is the first private company to get approval from the Central Insecticide Board to use drones for spraying its product Amistar on paddy to protect the crops from fungal infections, Blast and Sheath Blight.

Country Head & MD of Syngenta India Susheel Kumar said, “Use of drones, and a host of other technology-led innovations, are in keeping with our promise to help farmers improve their yield, increase their profitability & grow more sustainably. For 94 years of our existence in India, we have been at the forefront of innovation & served Indian farmers with quality crop protection products, seeds & solutions that are produced entirely in India for India”.

He said, “We believe through partnerships with the best-in-class research institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology we will be able to identify, develop & scale a series of innovative, breakthrough transformations in the agriculture sector. Through these partnerships with research & academia, we wish to bring in young talents into agriculture which will enable the world’s farmers to increase yields while increasing environmental sustainability”.

The two leaders also announced a unique Biodiversity Sensor Project, which is the world’s first biodiversity monitoring technology, featuring a centralized, biodiversity data repository that can be shared as well as tracked, with the goal of accelerating the accuracy of biodiversity measurements across the globe. 

For the Biodiversity Sensor Project, Syngenta India is working with IIT Ropar and Fraunhofer Institute. The early phase of the biodiversity project will try to identify and quantify insect life in and around farms - to better track and measure the population of insects that contribute to a healthy agriculture biosphere.

Digital Officer, Syngenta Group Feroz Sheikh said, “Eventually, we hope to broaden this technology to detect other habitats as well. Our first prototype is operational since March 2022. Throughout 2022, we will continue to hone & refine a small number of sensor prototypes and to further develop AI. And in 2023, we hope that the first sensor-network pilot projects would be implemented in selected countries”.

Highlighting Syngenta Group’s sustained focus on the use of technology in agriculture, he said that “The low-cost, solar-powered, state-of-the-art motion-capturing system will draw on AI and machine-learning algorithms to detect and quantify all moving species - automatically, autonomously, reliably, & at scale”.

Syngenta Global also announced a partnership with IIT Ropar iHub – AWaDH. On the collaboration Sheikh said, “We wish to work together in a collaborative way to pursue the development and commercialization of products in agriculture & water to solve global and local problems in agriculture”.

Outlining other India-centric innovations, Kumar announced that Syngenta India will soon launch a Grower App that gives digital agronomy advice for 9 crops including wheat,  cotton, vegetables, rice and maize in many languages. It is a unique app, which digitally empowers smallholders.

Kumar informed that “the Grower App will consist of a personalized crop calendar based on farmer’s sowing date, planting method, planting material, and soil nutrition status; weather-based advisory or alerts; nutrient recommendations; image-based disease diagnostic model; and an interactive community platform where farmers can share their stories and queries to be answered by experts.”

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