Promoting Drone Use in Agriculture | 24 Jan 2022

For Prelims: Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM).

For Mains: Developments of technology and their Applications and effects in everyday life, Need for agricultural mechanization and its significance.

Why in News

Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has issued revised guidelines of the “Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization” (SMAM) scheme in a move aimed at making drones more accessible to the farmers.

  • The funding guidelines will make this technology affordable by assisting in purchase, hiring and demonstrations of agriculture drones.
  • The financial aid and grants shall be applicable till 31st March 2023.
  • SMAM scheme was launched in 2014-15 with the objectives of increasing the reach of farm mechanization to small and marginal farmers and to the regions & difficult areas where farm power availability is low.

Key Points

Agriculture/Farm Mechanization

  • About:
    • Mechanised agriculture is the process of using agricultural machinery to mechanise the work of agriculture.
    • To boost up mechanization in the agriculture sector, improved agricultural implements and machinery are essential inputs.
  • Level of farm Mechanization:
    • India stands at about 40-45% with states such as UP, Haryana and Punjab having very high mechanization levels, but north-eastern states having negligible mechanization.
    • This level of farm mechanization is still low as compared to countries such as the US (95 %), Brazil (75%) and China (57%).
  • Significance:
    • It plays a vital role in optimizing the use of land, water energy resources, manpower and other inputs like seeds, fertilizers, pesticides etc to maximize the productivity of the available cultivable area and make agriculture a more profitable and attractive profession for rural youth.
    • It is one of the key drivers for the sustainable development of the agriculture sector.
  • Negative Impact:
    • Reduce workforce hence decreases farm employment.
    • Use of machinery increases pollution.

Source: PIB