The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, has the potential to revolutionise the Indian agriculture sector. In recent years, there has been an increased application of drones in agriculture. Some states like Telangana have already taken a lead in spraying pesticides through drones. 

In a major boost to the drone industry and beneficiary sectors, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced the use of ‘Kisan drones’ for crop assessment, digitisation of land records and spraying of insecticides and nutrients. This will help achieve precision agriculture and also enhance the global competitiveness of the Indian agriculture sector. Startups will also be facilitated to use ‘Drone Shakti’.  

The announcement comes days after the Union Agriculture Ministry issued funding guidelines to make drone technology affordable to all stakeholders. The “Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization” (SMAM) guidelines were also amended allowing grants of up to 100 per cent of the cost of agriculture drones or INR 10 lakhs for purchase of drones by the Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institutes, ICAR institutes, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and state agriculture universities for demonstration of agriculture drone technology.

This article was authored by Bhavya Tyagi.