The conference on “Promoting Kisan Drones: Issues, Challenges, and the Way Ahead,” organized as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, was inaugurated and addressed by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, today. Tomar stated that the government is encouraging farmers to use drones for convenience, lowering costs, and increasing income. The government is providing a 50 percent or maximum Rs. 5 lakh subsidy to SC-ST, small and marginal, women, and farmers in northeastern states to purchase Kisan Drones. According to the Minister, another 40% or Rs.4 lakh assistance will be available to other farmers.
What are Kisan Drones?
किसान ड्रोन क्या हैं?
- The Kisan drone will be equipped with an unmanned tank containing insecticides and nutrients.
- The drones will have a high capacity of 5 to 10kg.
- One acre of land can be sprayed with pesticide by the drone in just 15 minutes.
- It will save time and effort, and the spraying will be more uniform.
- They will also be used to transport vegetables, fruits, and fish from farms to markets.
- These items will be delivered to the market with minimal damage and in less time, resulting in greater profits for farmers and fishermen.
As part of the SMAM scheme, the government provides a 100% subsidy to buy drones
Tomar also stated to promote the use of drones in agriculture and make drone technology affordable to farmers and other stakeholders in the sector, monetary assistance at the total cost of drones, as well as contingent expenditure, is being provided to Farm Machinery Training & Testing Institutes, Institutions of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), and State Agricultural Universities through the Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM). Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs) receive grants of up to 75% of the cost of purchasing drones for a demonstration on farmers’ fields.
Financial assistance of 40% of the basic cost of the drone and its attachments, or Rs.4 lakhs, whichever is less, is also provided for drone purchase by existing and new Custom Hiring Centers (CHCs) under the Cooperative Society of Farmers, Farmers Producer Organizations (FPOs), and Rural entrepreneurs.
Agriculture graduates who establish CHCs are eligible for financial assistance of 50% of the cost of the drone, up to a maximum of Rs.5 lakhs.
In addition to the institutions already identified for drone demonstration, other state and central government agricultural institutions, as well as central public sector undertakings engaged in agricultural activities, have been added to the list of eligible institutions for financial assistance for farmers’ drone demonstration.
Benefits of Drones for Agriculture
कृषि के लिए ड्रोन के लाभ
- The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare released an in 2021 for spraying pesticides and nutrients with drones. The document explains how to use these flying robots effectively and safely.
- As high-capacity drones bring fruits, vegetables, and fish directly from farms to markets, it will usher in a new era of edge innovation.
- As part of Kisan Drone’s mission to increase agriculture productivity, the use of the drone will be promoted for crop assessment, digitizing land records, and spraying insecticides and nutrients.
What are the associated difficulties?
- According to the experts, the idea behind using drones could be to reduce human exposure to poisonous chemicals. However, given India’s massive employment crisis, it may not be a wise move.
- It may be possible to boost production by spraying pesticides and fertilizers, but it will be the industries that profit most.
- The government’s earlier promise to double farmer incomes by 2022 appears to be falling.
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