NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman kickstarted her Budget 2022 speech by stressing on the importance of drones in the farming sector and as well as how drones could help boost startups in India. Betting on the agriculture sector, drones could be used for assessment and fertilisation, according to the government.
Kisan Drones is said to be entrusted in deployment of drone technology in the sector, which also includes providing special monetary benefits that allows purchase or hire of drones for such purposes.
The primary objectives of bringing drones into the sector is to reduce manpower, increase the efficiency of crop protection with chemicals, reduce the amount of water used for farming, and prevent humans from getting exposed to harmful pesticides.
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“The guidelines of “Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation” (SMAM) have been amended which envisages granting upto 100% of the cost of agriculture drone or Rs 10 lakhs, whichever is less, as grant for purchase of drones by the Farm Machinery Training & Testing Institutes, ICAR institutes, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and State Agriculture Universities for taking up large scale demonstrations of this technology on the farmers’ fields," according to a recent statement by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
In addition to these, the Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs) are eligible to get grants up to 75 percent of the total cost of agriculture drones. Subsidising the cost of owning drones is likely to propel the use of technology among farmers, and certain bodies will be responsible to reach out at the ground level for its widespread use.
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But the policy is not limited to the use of drones in the sector. The Indian Government wants to push for local drone production, which effectively brings down the cost of ownership for interested parties.
There will be a structured pre- and post-application process that has to be monitored by the operator, giving them the control of the drone in the field, and enabling the farmer to benefit from use of the aerial technology for agricultural purposes.
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