Drones will enhance India’s GDP by $100 billion, creating 5 lakh jobs: WEF report
Putting drones at the heart of a technology-led transformation of Indian agriculture, aided by developing business models such as digital financing, precision agriculture, and quick awareness development, has the potential to improve the country’s GDP by 1-1.5%. According to a new World Economic Forum research, ‘Using Technology to Improve a Billion Livelihoods,’ it will create at least five lakh jobs in India over the next five years.
The research was released on Tuesday in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, by the Adani Group and the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
‘India’s bold and measured approach to promoting unmanned aviation has been lauded by a diverse range of stakeholders.’ To make the most of this regulatory landscape, drones must be part of the basic agri-equipment repertoire alongside tractors, cultivators, ploughs, diggers, and combine harvesters to fortify our farms,’ said Vignesh Santhanam, World Economic Forum Project Lead, Aerospace and Drones, India.
There are endless options
‘The potential is limitless when paired with next-generation imaging technologies, edge-based artificial intelligence, and machine learning capabilities.’ We’ve thought for a long time that the most important changes happen at the intersections of different fields, like the military and the civilian world, drones and AI, and the physical and the digital.
‘India has taken the lead in establishing various forward-thinking policies under the Prime Minister’s supervision to make India the world’s drone hub by 2030,’ said Ashish Rajvanshi, CEO, Adani Defence & Aerospace; President, Strategy & Chairman Office, Adani Group.
Several studies have shown that precision agriculture expertise and advice have a lot of potential to help farms get better agricultural results. This can lead to a 15% increase in productivity in India’s $600 billion agriculture sector. Drones can help unlock this value by making it easier to collect data and apply inputs, both of which have a direct effect on yields and the amount of money farmers make. Using drones on a larger scale in agriculture will help to automate farms and bring India closer to its peers around the world.
Coordination of research
The research outlines many use cases for drones in agriculture, such as crop monitoring, data collection for advisory purposes, and agricultural input application.
‘Drones are positioned to offer a variety of use cases that make use of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies.” We need to come up with a business model that makes it easy for farms to quickly start using drones. It is only achievable if the strengths of various ecosystem stakeholders are harnessed and a unit-level value proposition for farmers is built,’ stated Abhay Pareek, Project Lead, Fourth Industrial Revolution for Agriculture, World Economic Forum, India.
Strong supply chain system
Furthermore, given the drone sector’s nascent state and significant import dependence on various key components, a robust local support system, including a ‘Made in India’ supply chain, targeted skill development programs, next-generation digital financing mechanisms, and strong awareness-building programmes in Farmer Producer Organizations, Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), farmers, and policymakers, is required. According to the paper, a well-coordinated set of actions can add more than $100 billion to India’s GDP and help the country’s agriculture sector deal with a number of problems by using technology.
A ‘drone microcosm’ is required
Drone adoption in agriculture must be helped by the establishment of a ‘green microcosm’ in which an integrated ‘drone-centric rural hub’ is established and stabilised across crop cycles. The microcosm would be a controlled environment where different use cases for agriculture and other rural, India’s agriculture system is complicated by things like different agro-climatic zones, a wide range of crop varieties, and the poor use of irrigation technologies.
Furthermore, given the complexities of India’s agriculture system, such as different agro-climatic zones, a wide range of crop varieties, and the despaired use of irrigation technologies, drone integration in Indian agriculture can be accomplished through a drone form factor and a mission-based approach in partnership and ownership of stakeholders.
‘Local scale reduces drone costs dramatically.’ With a simple change of payloads, the same drone can be used for many different tasks, such as spraying, broadcasting, and delivering. ‘Creating local centres where these apps can be deployed at scale can help players develop a business case and grow quickly,’ said Rangarajan Vijayaraghavan, Vice President, Strategy & Chairman Office, Adani Group.
Inputs from Agency.