Rajasthan govt to rent out drones to farmers to help spray fertilisers insecticides

Jaipur, Jan 22 (PTI) Low income group farmers in Rajasthan will be provided drones on rent that will help them monitor crops and spray chemicals in a wide agricultural area with less cost and time.
    Around 1,500 drones will be made available at custom hiring centres by the state government in two years.
    Principal Secretary, Agriculture and Horticulture, Dinesh Kumar said the use of artificial intelligence and drones for agricultural work is increasing all over the world and in the state also, the government is promoting the use of technology to enable farmers increase their income and yield.
    “Progressive farmers of the state have already started using drones in agriculture. In the coming time there will be a huge increase in the demand and utility of drones in agriculture,” he said.
    “Looking at this, the government has decided to provide drones on rent to such farmers who have limited income and cannot afford advanced and expensive drones,” Sharma said.
    In conventional agricultural practices, pesticides are sprayed either manually or with the help of tractor-mounted sprayers where high quantities of pesticides and water are used and where a sizeable portion of spray goes waste in the environment.
    Drone-based spray requires less quantity of water, as well as pesticides, due to better application and bio-efficiency.
    Another official said 70 to 80 percent water can be saved by spraying with drones as compared to conventional spraying.
    “Deficiency of nutrients in the standing crop can be determined and replenished easily through drones,” Agriculture Commissioner Kana Ram said.
    He said irrigation monitoring, crop health monitoring, pest analysis, crop damage assessment, locust control, chemical spraying are such works which can be done in a better way using drones.
    Last Wednesday, a live demonstration of state-level drone technology was organised at Joshiwas village, Jobner by the Agriculture department to illustrate the successful use of drones, which was witnessed by Agriculture Minister Lalchand Kataria.
    Flexibility of drones helps spray fertilisers and insecticides in an easy manner as compared to conventional spraying.
    Agriculture expert Shivpal Singh Rajawat said updating current agriculture practices is important and necessary to increase productivity and crop yield.
    “Crops are monitored through visual observations traditionally and spraying is also done in traditional manner. Using drones can perform these tasks effectively, in less time. Looking at the precision, I am considering using drones for my agriculture farm,” said Hemraj Sharma, a farmer in Jaipur district.

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)