Agri Ministry to come out with SOPs for use of drones

The Agriculture Ministry strategies to arrive out with regular working protocols (SOPs) for the use of drones to spray pesticides and nutrients, a senior official claimed on Friday.

“Very soon, we will be coming out with SOPs for use of drones for spraying pesticides and nutrients, so that they can be employed for wider purposes by farmers and other stakeholders,” claimed Shomita Biswas, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture.

Biswas was addressing a convention on Digital and Precision Agriculture, organised by the CII Southern Area on Friday. The Union govt has not too long ago notified Drone policies, 2021. “The drone engineering is a crucial area and we also want this to be employed in agriculture,” Biswas claimed.

Drones are being employed for spraying nutrients and pesticides, but with no the component of synthetic intelligence and knowledge analytics. The field should get the job done in the direction of earning this precision agriculture-similar, even though taking care of elements this sort of as protection, safety and efficacy, she claimed.

As the first charge of applying this sort of engineering is very substantial, Biswas recommended that the field get the job done out some plan or small business design so that it can be employed in the fields. Even though leveraging the farmer producer organisations (FPOs) for use of the engineering, the field should look at a community non-public partnership and aim on ability making to make the engineering get the job done for farmers, she claimed.

Getting PPP route

Biswas also identified as on the field to indigenously build components to decrease the dependency on imports.

Even though stating that mechanisation and precision agriculture has immediate influence on productiveness, aside from decreasing drudgery, Biswas claimed India wants increased application of precision farming technologies which are economically feasible. Such technologies are also significant to appeal to rural youth to agriculture and make it more sustainable.

Farmers have been applying equipments this sort of as laser levellers, pneumatic seed drills and drip irrigation amid other folks, but there is a need to have for innovators and commence-ups to build technologies that are scalable and simple to use, she claimed.

C Anandharamakrishnan, Director, NIFTEM, Thanjavur, stressed the need to have to minimise the wastage in food items creation, a massive problem, applying precision technologies. Anil Kumar Venkat Epur, Chairman, CII, Southern Area Agri, Meals processing, Animal Agriculture Sub Committee, recommended the need to have for a potent community non-public partnerships to choose the engineering gains to the farmers.

S Chandramohan, Co-Chairman, CII SR Agri, Meals Processing, Animal Agriculture Sub-committee Director, claimed the uptake of electronic technologies in agriculture is sluggish predominantly because of to the segregated smallholder farms in the place, which would make knowledge collecting a intricate exercise. Confined percolation of mechanisation tools and recurring pure phenomenon like floods and droughts have also labored versus the deployment of electronic alternatives in the sector.

Also, knowledge of different spots, markets, soil style and climate amid other folks is needed to make a feasible innovative electronic engineering, Chandramohan, also Team President (Finance & Financial commitment) TAFE Ltd, claimed.