The Union Agriculture Ministry has granted temporary clearance to 477 pesticides for drone use in order to accelerate agri-drone adoption, according to the Drone Federation of India (DFI) on Tuesday.
Previously, each pesticide had to be approved by the Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee (CIB&RC), a process that may take 18-24 months. For the next two years, these 477 licensed pesticides, which include insecticides, fungicides, and plant growth regulators (PGRs), will be available for commercial use using drones.
‘The Union agriculture ministry and CIB&RC have granted this temporary authorization,’ DFI stated in a statement. Also Read | PM Modi launched 100 ‘Kisan drones’ for spraying pesticides on farms across the country.
Furthermore, the federation stated that pesticide corporations who are already registered with the CIB&RC and want to deploy registered chemical pesticides with drones can notify the board’s secretariat with pesticide dosage, crop details, and data-generating action plan, and other required information.
‘If pesticide manufacturers choose to continue employing drones for pesticide spraying after two years, they must generate essential data during the interim time and have it validated by CIB&RC,’ the statement continued.
Vision of ‘one village, one drone’
The drone operators must, however, follow the agriculture ministry’s Standard operating procedure (SOP) for deploying drones to spray pesticides and fertilizers.
‘Drones are taking over agricultural farms, spraying chemical pesticides and nutrients, surveying Agri/farmland, and assessing soil and crop health. The use of drones for agricultural spraying minimizes human exposure to fertilizers, pesticides, and other hazardous chemicals’ Smit Shah, president of the DFI, stated
Shah described the initiative as a step toward achieving the vision of ‘one village, one drone’ in the next three years, saying, ‘After liberalizing the drone policy and providing government subsidies for the purchase of drones for agricultural activities, the decision to give interim approval to knapsack registered pesticides shall boost the utilization of Kisan drone.’
In February of this year, Minister Narendra Modi addressed a webinar on ‘Smart Agriculture,’ emphasizing the necessity for greater use of drones in the agriculture sector. Also Read | Garuda Aerospace pledged to build 6 lakh drones & create 6 lakh jobs by 2025.
‘In the twenty-first century, artificial intelligence (AI) will radically transform agricultural and farming trade. This shift includes the increased use of Kisan drones in agriculture. Only when we push agro Startups will drone technology be available on a large scale’ he said.