Govt to promote Drone use in Agriculture for precision farming in country
In a major boost to promote precision farming in India, the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has issued guidelines to make drone technology affordable to the stakeholders of this sector.
The guidelines of “Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization” have been amended which envisages granting upto 100 per cent of the cost of agriculture drone or 10 lakh rupees whichever is less to the agricultural institutes.
The grant will be provided for purchase of drones by the Farm Machinery Training and, Testing Institutes, ICAR institutes, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and State Agriculture Universities for taking up large scale demonstrations of this technology on the farmers’ fields.
The Ministry added that the Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs) would be eligible to receive grant up to 75 per cent of the cost of agriculture drone for its demonstrations on the farmers’ fields.
A contingency expenditure of six thousand rupees per hectare would be provided to implementing agencies that do not want to purchase drones but will hire drones for demonstrations from Custom Hiring Centres, Hi-tech Hubs, Drone Manufacturers and Start-Ups.
The contingency expenditure to implementing agencies that purchase drones for drone demonstrations would be limited to 3 thousand rupees per hectare. The financial assistance and grants would be available till 31st of March , 2023.
Agriculture Ministry has added that custom Hiring Centers set up by Cooperative Society of Farmers, FPOs and Rural entrepreneurs will also get financial assistance for purchase of drones.
The subsidized purchase of agriculture drones for Custom Hiring Centres and Hi-tech Hubs will make the technology affordable, resulting in their widespread adoption. This would make drones more accessible to the common man in India and will also significantly encourage domestic drone production.