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Peddapalli: Agri drones to the rescue of farmers

Peddapalli: Agri drones to the rescue of farmers
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The use of agriculture drones for spraying chemicals and also to monitor the growth of crops is being suggested widely by the scientists as they also keep the farmers away from the effects of various chemicals used in the fields besides putting a cap on their usage thereby retaining the quality of the soil

Peddapalli: The use of drones by the police department for surveillance in some areas to keep a check on criminal activities has become a common sight these days. In fact, the Karimnagar police have been constantly using the drones to nab the persons found violating the rules and drinking in open places under the its commissionerate limits.

Actually, there is a ban on use of drones by private persons in the State and it was imposed after the intelligence agencies pointed out that such flying objects could be used by persons involving in anti-social activities and also by terrorists to carry out attacks.

However, non-government agencies or organisation or individuals are allowed to use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) only after obtaining necessary permission from local police or by the aviation authorities.

Though use of drones in agriculture is very common in other countries, in India, it is not seen. In rural areas with no proper knowledge about how much pesticides, fungicides, insecticides and fertilizers must be sprayed for the crops they are cultivating, the farmers are incurring losses and also falling prey to the diseases after being exposed to the chemicals.

To over come such problems of indiscriminate use of chemicals and to minimise the costs, a youngster, Thota Harish, invented the agri-drone sprayer in collaboration with Fopple Drone Tech Private Limited of Vijayawada of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

Using Naza Drone Technology, Harish, a resident of Nimmanapalli village of Peddapalli district, invented the drone sprayer which is also called Quadcopter.

Harish said that the drone is equipped with a tank and a spraying system. The drone weighs around 25kg with a full tank of 10 litres capacity and can fly to a height of 100-150 feet. He informed that he had spent over Rs 6 lakh to make the drone.

The use of drone sprayer reduces the usage of chemicals and saves time and money. Moreover, the farmers can protect themselves from the harmful effects of chemicals used to spray in their fields, he added.

Harish further added that he was trying to improvise the drone with hyper and multi-spectral cameras and power sensors so that the drone could be used to gather data for analysing various deficiencies in crops, nature of soil and pest and insect attack.

Kaluvala Shekar, an agriculture scientist at District Agricultural Advisory and Transfer of Technology Centre (DAATTC), Karimnagar, who tested the functioning of drone designed by Harish, said that the drones are highly helpful in farming sector due to their ability to spray specific volumes on GPS defined routes across the field.

Rather than having to walk in the fields to identify diseases, pests, fungus and weeds, a farmer can pick the photos using the agri drones and can target the affected areas, spray the chemicals and can prevent loss at the early stages, Shekar said, adding that use of drones also curbs the over usage of pesticides and other chemicals.

Even the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana makes it mandatory to use modern technology, which also includes remote sensing devices like drones. Farmers can make insurance claims by capturing photos with the help of drones. The data thus gathered will be useful to assess the risks and losses on crops that are insured, he added.

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