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University sees job prospects in agricultural drones

University sees job prospects in agricultural drones
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Jayshankar Telangana State Agricultural University PJTSAU is making efforts to standardise the usage of agricultural drones which will have a huge job potential in the State in near future

Hyderabad: Jayshankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) is making efforts to standardise the usage of agricultural drones which will have a huge job potential in the State in near future.

According to the PJTAU officials, the university is currently engaged in research on the usage of agricultural drones. They include identification of soil pattern, moisture, the quantity of fertilizer or pesticide to be attached as a payload to the agri-drones etc.

Another key aspect, the university is factoring, is the height of the drones that need to fly in administering the fertilizers or any other inputs in process of their usage. Since inputs vary from crop to crop and soil to soil depending on the weather conditions, failing to administer appropriate quantity of the pesticides or insecticides would adversely affect the germination and growth of the plants.

Further, depending on the weather conditions the viruses might spread fast and destroy the crops. In such cases, the situation needs to be attended immediately, to isolate or contain the spread of the virus. "Whether we can use drones in such circumstances is also an issue. We need to take into consideration all the parameters," said a senior faculty member from the PJTSAU.

Clarifying on this, the university Vice-Chancellor Prof V Praveen Rao said, currently, "We are working on how to standardize the process addressing each of the issues involved in the usage of agricultural drones. They include issues related to agriculture and the drones workings based on the remote sensing technologies, how to optimize their use for the agriculture sector in the State." However, the university is hopeful of completing the process soon.

Once the university completes its work, then, it will have to take into consideration the drone policy of the government. After this step, "We will be in a position to send a technical recommendation to the State government on the usage of drones for agricultural purposes in the State," Praveen Rao said.

He further added that the university has already planned to prepare a certification course in using the agricultural drones. In turn, those trained and obtained the certification can offer the agricultural drone services in the State. This will directly benefit the students of about 13 agricultural polytechnics in Telangana.

Also, BSc agriculture students are currently taught the usage of remote sensing applications in their course. They can also benefit from offering their services to the farmers. That apart, the number of students coming out from the agricultural polytechnics and colleges may not be sufficient as the State is all set to take its maximum cultivable extent to about one crore acres.

Thus, it will also give opportunities to the students with science backgrounds to undergo the proposed certification course and offer agricultural drone services as self-employment in the districts.

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