Drones have come in the limelight after the attack on Jammu air base but these simple yet innovative devices are being used by a Jabalpur based mechanical engineer for modernising traditional farming.
Madhotaal area-based agriculture scientist from Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh has been devising ways to modernise farming for the last six years and has developed a drone-based technique for sowing seeds in the farms.
Able to carry upto 30kg weight, the drone developed by Abhinav Thakur is fitted with a container where paddy or wheat seeds are filled up and are sprinkled on the soil as the machine flies over the fields. Thakur said that he had experimented the machine in farmlands in UP’s Mirzapur on the request of Banaras Hindu University scientists.
In UP, generally by the time the paddy crop is harvested, winter sets in, making sowing difficult with tractor seed drill which is why the seeds are sprayed on to the field but the techniques come with several practical issues, said the Jabalpur techie. After learning about these issues, Abhinav modified his machine by attaching a funnel like equipment through which the seeds fall at a regular distance.
However, first the farmers will have to learn how to operate drones. The drone will navigate around the farm with the help of google map opened in a mobile phone or a tablet. The machine returns to the operator once it runs out of the battery or seeds.
Counting the benefits, the developer said that it does not require tractor trolley and farmers can operate it by standing outside the farm. The machine can sow seeds into 20 acre of farm in an hour and with the pressure applied by the drone, the seeds pierce into the soil, which is good for farmers. The machine also helps in preventing wastage of the seeds.
The innovation was implemented last year at two farms in UP’s Mirzapur and one farm in Banaras, and the farmers as well as the scientists were satisfied with the results, claimed the Jabalpur-based innovator, adding, this year the experiments shall continue in UP for further advancements. The young engineer is planning to exhibit his technique shortly in Jabalpur also.
Initially in year 2019, the techie developed this machine with a cost of Rs 8 lakh for spraying pesticides in the farms. Thakur said he is presently busy making it more cost effective with the help of agri-scientists in UP.
(Inputs from Pavan Patel)