Drones Application in Agriculture

Drones Application in Agriculture

News: Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has released Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for drone application in Agriculture.

• The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) commonly known as drones have great potential to revolutionize Indian agriculture and ensure the country's food security.
• The drones were used for the first time in warding off locustattacks in various states of the country.
• Earlier, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had launched a Drone-Based vaccine delivery model named, Drone Response and Outreach in North East (i-Drone).
• The SOP for drone regulation for pesticide application coversimportant aspects like statutory provisions, flying permissions, area distance restrictions, weight classification, overcrowded areas restriction, drone registration, safety insurance, piloting certification, operation plan, air flight zones, weather conditions,
• SOPs for pre, post and during operation, emergency handling plan.

Drone Technology in Use of Application of Pesticides:
• Conventional methods of pesticide spray application lead to several problems likeexcessive application of chemicals, lower spray uniformity, unnecessary deposition and non-uniform coverage.
• Resulting in excessive usage, water & soil pollution as well as higher expenditure on pesticides.
• With conventional manual sprayers, the safety of operators is also a major concern.
• The use of drone technology as a modern farming technique is aimed at making production more efficient through precise spraying of pesticides and crop nutrients.
• This approach would not only ensure accuracy, uniformity in spray across the field, reduction in the overall use of chemicals within the area, but will also take care of the safety of the operators.

Uses of Drone Technology in Agriculture:
• Drones are well-equipped with many features like multi-spectral and photo cameras.Drones can be used for assessing the health of any vegetation or crop, field areas inflicted by weeds, infections and pests.
• Based on an assessment, the exact amounts of chemicals needed to fight infestations can be applied thereby optimizing the overall cost for the farmer.This will further help in doubling farmer’s income by 2022.
• Drone planting systems have also been developed by many start-ups which allow drones to shoot pods, their seeds and spray vital nutrients into the soil.Thus, this technology increases consistency and efficiency of crop management, besides reducing the cost.This will help in enhancing the productivity as well as efficiency of the agriculture sector.Use of drones in agriculture may also give ample opportunities to provide employment to people in rural areas.

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