Can Drones replace tractors someday?

Can Drones replace tractors someday?

News: In this editorial we will discuss about role of technology in agriculture.

Background:
 The Economic Survey of India 2022-23 highlighted that India’s agriculture sector has grown 4.6% over the last six years with over 1000 agri-tech start-ups having emerged in the sector.
 The modern era of technology demands increased and focused attention towards role of agri-technology in India.

What is significance of technology in modern day agriculture?
Precision Farming
 Technology such as GPS, drones, and sensors are being used to monitor crops, soil, and weather conditions. It helps farmers to make scientific, data-driven decisions and make optimum use of water and fertilizers.

Drones
 They have ability to transform agriculture sector. Drones or UAV’s can help in in aerial seeding, pesticide spraying and remote data collection for research.

Biotechnology
 Biotechnology has been used to develop crops that are resistant to pests and diseases, drought-resistant, and have increased yield. This has resulted in increased productivity, reduced crop loss, and better quality crops. Example, Bt.Cotton, GM Mustard.

Mechanization of Agriculture
 Modern agricultural machinery such as tractors, harvesters, and seed drills have enabled farmers to increase their efficiency and reduce labor costs.

Food Processing and Dairy Processing
 Technology has enabled the development of food processing and preservation techniques that ensure food is safe and has a longer shelf life. It has reduced food wastage while contributing to food security as well.
 Enhanced storage facilities and improved transport equipment have enabled better price and business opportunities for farmers.

Improved Market Access
 It has opened door both locally and internationally. Internet and e-commerce have helped farmers connect with buyers at touch of their fingers.

What are challenges for Agri-tech in India?
Challenges
Lack of Digital Literacy amongst Farmers
Fragmented land holdings prevent farmers from realizing benefits of Farm mechanization
High upfront costs
Limited Infrastrucure - Electricity, Internet connectivity
Lack of collaboration between various stakeholders

Way Forward
 Government should encourage farmers to adopt modern technology in farming.
 Agriculture research should be dedicated to providing affordable solutions to farmers.
 Drone regulation is a critical issue that requires careful consideration to ensure the safety and privacy of individuals and communities.

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