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Telangana Forest Dept Innovation: Use of drones to enhance forests and greenery

Hyderabad-based technology startup, Marut Drones, on Friday (October 1) launched the first ‘Seed Copter’ in Telangana with a drone with seed balls. Around 1.5 lakh seed balls were dispersed in the KBR National Park in the city.

Seed balls contain a variety of seeds rolled within a ball of clay, together with organic manure and fertilizer. The balls will dissolve when it rains, and result in the germination of the seeds, 

The startup had earlier deployed drones successfully in agricultural operations and for the delivery of vaccines. Through its ‘Hara Bhara’ initiative and to plant one billion trees in the country by 2030, Marut Drones is now using drone technology to green large swathes of vacant land and existing forests.

“Loss of vegetation occurs in vast tracts of forest areas every year, due to fire and other causes. Our aim is to accelerate the target of 33 per cent green cover throughout the country by dispersal of seed balls in the inaccessible forest areas, using drones,” Prem Kumar Vislawath, Founder and Chief Innovator of Marut Drones said.

“We have been given 12,000 hectares of forest land in 12 districts by the Forest department, where we aim to fire a total of 50 lakh seed balls. We will monitor their growth for the coming ten years, and record the change in greenery annually through satellite monitoring,” he said.

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