With exports exceeding US$50 Billion and approximately 1/5th contribution to the GDP, the agriculture sector forms an integral part of India. The adoption of technology in this sector is the least compared to other sectors, despite most of the Indian population being linked to agriculture in some form or the other.
Agriculture drones are reversing this trend by automating and simplifying agriculture all over India. There has been an exponential rise in the use of Drone technology in the agricultural sector because of numerous use cases and policy pushes by the Government.
Government initiatives to increase the adoption of drones in agriculture
- The Government provides financial assistance under the Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization
- The Government provides financial assistance of 100% cost of the drone to different institutes
- Various other schemes like Drone Shakti and Kisan Drone
- Overall push to increase drone manufacturing with schemes like Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI)
Use cases of drones in the Indian agriculture sector
From basic surveillance to spraying and geofencing, Agriculture drones are used for various things linked to agriculture. Some common use cases include:
- Irrigation inspection: Drones can be integrated with sensors to identify various crucial factors linked to crop efficiency. One type of these sensors can be used to identify dry areas on land so farmers can analyse the areas that need help with irrigation.
- Soil and Field Analysis: Different types of sensors are used to identify soil factors like moisture, soil erosion, fertility, terrain, and others. This analysis can help with effective crop planning, directly resulting in increased production.
- Monitoring and Surveillance: Surveillance of crops usually consumes a lot of person-hours and has remained an inefficient part of the agriculture sector. Agriculture drones help automate monitoring and surveillance and inform farmers about agricultural challenges well ahead of time. Farmers can also monitor growth and growth patterns to identify challenges way ahead of time and increase the yield.
- Spraying: One of the most time-consuming and dangerous parts of farming is spraying pesticides on crops. Drones for spraying pesticides are helping automate this process, along with helping humans avoid getting in contact with harmful chemicals. Farm drones help increase the speed of operations, reduce time, and increase safety, all at the same time.
- Livestock Management: Another big use case of Agriculture drones lies in livestock management. Sensors integrated with drones can identify health issues in livestock and other conditions. Farmers can monitor the movement of livestock on their farms and prevent mishaps.
- Predicting the weather: Drones in farming can predict weather conditions like drought or the upcoming absence of rain using various kinds of weather sensors. These details can help farmers plan for the future, including irrigation.
- Geofencing: Geofencing identifies humans and animals using sensors over large land areas. Geofencing using Agriculture drones is used to prevent livestock from getting lost and animal attacks on fields.
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