PACS as ?drone entrepreneurs? for spraying Fertilisers

PACS as ‘drone entrepreneurs’ for spraying Fertilisers

News: As per the information from Cooperation ministry, government is planning to employ Primary agricultural credit societies (PACS) as ‘drone entrepreneurs’ for spraying fertilisers and pesticides in fields to achieve the last mile coverage and high yield.

What is the proposed plan?
 There are about 1 lakh Primary Agricultural Credit Cooperative Societies present across the country which are not functioning as ‘fertiliser retailers’ will be identified and encouraged to function as retailers.
 The PACS which are not currently functioning as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samridhi Kendras will be brought under their ambit.
 The PACS will be connected with the marketing of organic fertilisers, especially Fermented Organic Manure/ Liquid Fermented Organic Manure / Phosphate Enriched Organic Manure.
 Fertiliser companies will act as an ‘aggregator’ for small bio-organic producers to market the end product, in this supply and marketing chain of bio-organic fertilizers PACS will also be included as wholesalers/retailers.

What are PACS? What is their role?
 PACS are village level cooperative credit societies that serve as the last link in a three-tier cooperative credit structure headed by the State Cooperative Banks (SCB) at the state level.
 Their role include arranging for supply of agricultural inputs (seeds, fertilizers,insectides), it helps its members by providing marketing facilities which will enhance sale of agricultural products, they supply crucial light machinery for agriculture purpose etc.

Need for Digitisation of PACS:
 The Budget 2023-24 has announced 2, 516 crores for the computerisation of 63,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) over the next five years.
 While State Cooperative Banks and District Cooperative Banks are connected to the Core Banking Software (CBS), PACS are not. Some PACS use their own software, but a compatible platform is necessary to bring about uniformity in the system.

Why drones in Agriculture?
 Drones will help farmers as it have some distinct advantages such as high field capacity and efficiency, less turnaround time and other field operational delays, wastage reduction of pesticide and fertilizers.
 Water saving due to ultra-low volume spraying technology in comparison to traditional spraying methods, reduction in cost of spraying and fertilizer application in comparison to conventional methods etc.
 Reduction of human exposure to hazardous chemicals.
Source – Times of India

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