SYLLABUS SECTION: GS III (AGRICULTRE)
WHY IN THE NEWS?
Recently, government has liberalized the drone policy. The farm sector has become the biggest user of these multi-utility flying robots in AERIAL BOON FOR FARMING.
- The country’s agricultural drone market is projecting to grow at a robust annual rate of over 25% in the next five to six years.
REASON FOR INCREASING DRONE USAGE IN AGRICULTURE:
- a) Shortage of farm labour in agriculturally progressive regions is contributing to growth in drones’ demand,
- b) Reduce cost in hiring drones: The cost of hiring drone service is expecting to fall (to Rs 350-450 per acre) as the scale of its use increases for common services, such as applying plant protection chemicals or crop nutrients
- c) Government support: The government support the use of drone through various acts such as a slew of financial and other kinds of incentives, a production-linking incentive (PLI) scheme for the drone sector and conducting “Bharat Drone Mahotsava 2022”.
- d) Inflow of private investment into the UAVs sector,
- e) Numerous enterprises, ranging from start-ups to well-established auto companies, have come forward to manufacture and set up facilities to provide custom-hiring services to farmers,
- f) Drone exports: Many drone makers got export orders from Japan and other Asian and Gulf countries.
Thus, India seems to have the potential to become the global leader in manufacturing and utilising UAVs and reduce the Chinese dominance in the global bazaar for drones.
Why drones are use in Agriculture?
- Drones are employes in agriculture for a variety of purposes such as estimating the plants area and likely production, assessing crop damage by pests and diseases, and digitising land records, apart from their most common use for spraying pesticides and plant nutrients.
- Use of drones in the farm sector is unlikely to remain confine to a few broad areas, such as spraying, surveying, mapping, and surveillance.
- Specially designed sensors equipped with artificial intelligence tools can enable drones to distinguish between healthy and diseased or pest-infested plants for better targeting of pesticides and other plant-protection chemicals.
- Large drones can be used to transport farm produce, especially perishable items like vegetables, fruit, meat, and fish, to markets directly from farms in the least possible time and with minimum damage to the stuff.
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Source: The Hindu