Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, released Crop Specific “Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on April 20th, 2023, for applying Pesticides with Drones” in the public domain for farmers’ and other stakeholders’ guidance.
Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Manoj Ahuja, Director General of ICAR, Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Abhilaksh Likhi, Joint Secretary Smt. Shubha Thakur, Smt. S. Rukmani and Ms. Vijayalakshmi, Agriculture Commissioner Shri P.K. Singh, Deputy Commissioners (Mechanization & Technology) Shri C.R. Lohi and Shri A.N. Meshram, Senior Officers, Scientists and representatives from Drone Federation of India, ICAR, SAU and States, Civil Aviation Ministry, FMTTI Director and farmers participated.
On this occasion, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar stated that “Agriculture is our top priority. Whether conducting research or launching initiatives, the government’s foremost objective is to develop agriculture and improve the financial condition of farmers. The agriculture industry is facing many challenges at the moment. To lower the production cost to enhance the farmers’ pay, attract the next generation, and retain them as farmers. The government is making constant efforts since technical support for the agricultural sector is essential.”
Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said, “The government had approved the use of drone technology in agriculture. Drone technology has been available since the last locust outbreak when they felt their service was necessary. Since then, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the central government has entirely supported drone technology. Farmers will reap significant benefits from drones in terms of lowering agricultural costs and minimising pesticide side effects.”
“Every time we implement a new plan, we must remember that everyone will benefit from it. When the drone scheme was developed, common farmers and graduates were included in it to make drones accessible to small farms. He emphasised the need to increase the effectiveness of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs). He stated that graduate and post-graduate agricultural students should attend awareness sessions at agricultural universities and colleges to gain employment and develop their farming skills. Making a plan will help the benefits of drones reach everyone,” according to Shri Narendra Singh Tomar
Grant-in-Aid for Drones – Under the Agricultural Mechanisation Sub-Mission, ICAR institutes, KVKs, SAUs, other State/Central Government Agricultural Institutes, and Government of India PSUs engaged in agricultural activities are given financial assistance at the rate of 100% of the cost of the drone (up to Rs. 10 lahks per drone), along with Contingent Expenses, to demonstrate drones in farmers’ fields. FPOs receive a grant-in-aid at a rate of 75% for acquiring drones for use in farmer demonstrations.
Also read: ICRISAT held a workshop on UAVs for Advanced Agricultural Applications – A Report https://dronefluence.com/icrisat-held-a-workshop-on-uavs-for-advanced-agricultural-applications-a-report/
CHCs provide financial help to Farmers Cooperative Society, FPOs, and Rural Entrepreneurs for acquiring drones to provide agricultural services through drones, up to a maximum of Rs. 4 lahks. Financial support up to Rs. 5 lahks is given to agricultural graduates starting CHCs at a rate equal to 50% of the drone’s cost. Individual small- and marginal-farmer, SC-ST-, woman-, and North-Eastern state farmers would additionally receive 50% of the drone’s price up to a maximum of Rs. 5 lahks. In comparison, other farmers are eligible for help at 40% of the drone’s cost, up to a maximum of Rs. 4 lahks.