The government said on Monday that it was promoting the use of “Kisan drones” and that conditions were conducive to bringing the technology to farmers. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told a meeting that modernisation of the agricultural sector is on the government’s agenda.
He noted that Kisan drones are being promoted for crop assessment, digitizing land records, and spraying pesticides and nutrients, for which budget allocations have been made.
To promote the use of Kisan drones, the government is offering 50% or up to Rs. 500,000 grants to SC/STs, small and marginal farmers, women and farmers in Northeastern states to purchase drones. For other farmers, financial assistance of up to 40% or up to Rs. 400,000, an official statement quoted the minister as saying at the event.
To provide agricultural services through drone applications, financial assistance is provided at 40% of the base cost of the drone and its accessories or Rs. Existing and new Custom Recruitment Centers (CHCs) under Farmers Cooperatives, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and Rural Entrepreneurs also provide $400,000 for drone purchases, whichever is less.
Agriculture graduates establishing a CHC are eligible for financial assistance at 50% of the cost of the drone up to Rs. 500000.
In addition to the identified drone demonstration units, other national and central agricultural institutions and central public institutions engaged in agricultural activities have also been included in the list of financial support targets for farmers’ drone demonstrations.
Federal Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary said the new technology is designed to benefit more farmers, which will reduce production costs and increase their incomes.
Agriculture Minister Manoj Ahuja said the conditions for bringing drones to farmers are favourable and the government has made commitments in this regard.