How Government Boost Drone Farming?
In farming, besides spending money on fertilizers and seeds, labor wages constitute a significant financial challenge. In this scenario, technology has proven advantageous for farmers, although its implementation in farming can be costly. To help with the costs, the government is encouraging farmers to use drones. Drones, small unmanned aircraft with the capability for remote or autonomous control, are equipped with a GPS-based navigation system, a range of sensors, and a controller, all powered by battery-based energy. Operated and directed by the controller, drones can be customized with various equipment, such as cameras and insecticide spraying devices, depending on their intended use. This governmental initiative seeks to leverage drone technology to optimize farming practices and reduce overall production costs for farmers.
In 2014-15, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare initiated the Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) to enhance the accessibility of farm mechanization, particularly targeting small and marginal farmers and regions with low farm power availability. The primary goals of this initiative are to extend the benefits of mechanization to a broader spectrum of farmers and areas, ultimately contributing to increase income and overall growth in the agricultural sector. To fortify agricultural mechanization and foster inclusivity, SMAM focuses on promoting ‘Custom Hiring Centres’ and establishing ‘Hi-tech Hubs of High-Value Machines.’
KISAN DRONE SCHEME
The Kisan Drone Scheme, initiated by the Honorable Prime Minister, marks a significant step in modernizing agriculture across India. The primary objective of the scheme is to empower farmers through the use of drones, simplifying tasks such as spraying, minimizing labor and time requirements, and enhancing farmers’ income.
The Kisan Drone Scheme emerges as a crucial force in advancing farming practices, particularly as drones redefine precision agriculture.
Kisan Drone Subsidy
|Institutes under ICAR, Farm Machinery Training & Testing Institutes, KVKs, SAUs, State and Central Govt. Agricultural Institutions/Departments, PSUs of Govt. of India.
|100% of the drone cost, up to a maximum of Rs. 10 lakhs per drone
|Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs)
|Grants up to 75% of the agriculture drone cost for on-field demonstrations
|A contingency expenditure to implementing agencies that do not want to purchase drones but will hire drones for demonstrations from Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs), Hi-tech Hubs, Drone Manufacturers and Start-Ups.
|A contingency expenditure of Rs.6000 per hectare is provided to these implementing agencies.
|Implementing Agencies purchasing drones for demonstrations.
|Contingent expenditure limited to Rs. 3000 per
|To make drone services available to farmers on rental basis, for purchase of drones by CHCs under Cooperative Society of Farmers, FPOs and Rural entrepreneurs.
|Financial assistance @ 40% up to a maximum of Rs. 4.00 lakhs
|Agriculture graduates establishing CHCs are eligible to receive
|Financial assistance @ 50% of the cost of drone up to a maximum of Rs.5.00 lakhs per drone.
|Agriculture Graduates establishing CHCs
|Financial assistance @ 50% of the cost up to a maximum of Rs. 5.00 lakhs
|For purchase of drones on individual ownership basis, the Small and Marginal, Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe, Women and North Eastern State farmers
|@ 50% of the cost up to a maximum of Rs. 5.00 lakhsand other farmers @ 40% up to a maximum of Rs. 4.00 lakhs.
Based on the proposals received so far, the funds amounting to Rs. 129.19 crores have been released towards Kisan Drone promotion which include Rs. 52.50 crores released to the ICAR for purchase of 300 Kisan Drones and organizing their demonstrations on the farmers’ fields.
The Government has also recently approved Central Sector Scheme for providing drones to the Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) with an outlay of Rs. 1261 Crores. The scheme aims to provide drones to 15000 selected Women SHGs for providing rental services to farmers for agriculture purpose (application of fertilizers and pesticides).
These efforts not only give farmers access to new technologies but also help the agricultural industry grow and adapt. With ongoing support and investment, using drones in farming is set to become a key part of modern agriculture, bringing a more eco-friendly and efficient future for farmers around the world.