UP deploys AI, anti-mine drones in AyodhyaAnti-mine drones in Ayodhya

Virendra Singh Rawat

Drones are not only deployed at the war front, but the technology could be harnessed in a slew of sectors including agriculture.

Taking the agenda forward, the Uttar Pradesh government is looking to use drones in the farm sector for increasing agricultural and horticultural yield.

Even as drones are already being utilised for farm activities including spraying pesticides and fertilisers, the state will now expand the scope of the aerial technology.

Drones could be used to spray nano (liquid) urea and pesticides for higher farm productivity. The state is planning to provide training to drone pilots to cater the demand in the state.

According to an estimate, UP has nearly 17 million hectares (MH) of agricultural cultivated area.

As such, the potential of drones in agriculture is huge since UP ranks among the top agricultural and horticultural producers.

Besides, drones curtail farm input costs on labour and ensure a uniform spray of fertilisers or pesticides in the cropped land.

Earlier, the Yogi Adityanath government had announced 40 percent subsidy to farmers’ self help groups (SHGs) using drone for agricultural purposes. The farmers were offered drones on rent for usage as well as to introduce them to the new-age technology.

Typically a drone has the capacity to carry 10-12 kg of nano urea or pesticide. It can spray fertilisers or farm nutrients over, say, 10 bighas of land in 10-12 minutes, which manually takes much longer.

The usage of drones in agriculture will also boost the domestic drone manufacturing industry. Drones are also used by other government departments including police, civic bodies etc apart from private services firms including event management, photography etc.

The state has already established a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for drones in consort with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur.

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Moreover, the government is also promoting drones manufacturing in the UP Defence Corridor spanning six nodes.

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