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Use of Drone in Pesticide Application

  • 22 Dec 2021
  • 4 min read

For Prelims: Drones, Draft Drone Rules, 2021.

For Mains: Doubling farmer’s income by 2022, Uses of drone technology in agriculture & their advantages.

Why in News

Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has released Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for drone application in Agriculture.

Key Points

  • About Standard Operating Procedures (SOP): The SOP for drone regulation for pesticide application covers:
    • Important aspects like statutory provisions, flying permissions, area distance restrictions, weight classification, overcrowded areas restriction, drone registration, safety insurance, piloting certification, operation plan, air flight zones, weather conditions,
    • SOPs for pre, post and during operation, emergency handling plan.
  • Drone Technology in Use of Application of Pesticides:
    • Pesticides: Pesticides are one of the important agri-inputs to address protection of crops against a large number of pests that can wash away entire investment of farmers and hence they act as an essential input that yields substantial returns to the farmers.
    • Conventional Spraying of Pesticide: Conventional methods of pesticide spray application lead to several problems like:
      • Excessive application of chemicals, lower spray uniformity, unnecessary deposition and non-uniform coverage.
      • Resulting in excessive usage, water & soil pollution as well as higher expenditure on pesticides.
      • With conventional manual sprayers, the safety of operators is also a major concern.
    • Use of Drone Technology: The use of drone technology as a modern farming technique is aimed at making production more efficient through precise spraying of pesticides and crop nutrients.
      • This approach would not only ensure accuracy, uniformity in spray across the field, reduction in the overall use of chemicals within the area, but will also take care of the safety of the operators.
  • Other Uses of Drone Technology in Agriculture & Their Advantages:
    • Crop Monitoring: Drones are well-equipped with many features like multi-spectral and photo cameras.
      • Drones can be used for assessing the health of any vegetation or crop, field areas inflicted by weeds, infections and pests.
    • Optimum Nutrient Delivery: Based on an assessment, the exact amounts of chemicals needed to fight infestations can be applied thereby optimizing the overall cost for the farmer.
    • Better Crop Management: Drone planting systems have also been developed by many start-ups which allow drones to shoot pods, their seeds and spray vital nutrients into the soil.
      • Thus, this technology increases consistency and efficiency of crop management, besides reducing the cost.
      • This will help in enhancing the productivity as well as efficiency of the agriculture sector.
      • Use of drones in agriculture may also give ample opportunities to provide employment to people in rural areas.

Source: PIB

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