UP to promote Drone-as-a-Service in Agri sector

UP to promote Drone-as-a-Service in Agri sector

Man vs Machine or Man+Machine vs modern day challenges? Read on to know more.

Works to set up a drone manufacturing hub in Uttar Pradesh is underway. The main aim here is to adopt modern means of techniques to address the setbacks in the Agriculture sector and at the same time ensure ample employment opportunities.

Drone-as-a-Service (DaaS) has multifaceted applications, offering solutions in almost every stage in the field of agriculture. From improving irrigation and fertilisation to understanding seed health, the application of drones is crucial at every level.

This is why it is important to understand the very first step towards the adoption of drones. So, let's delve into the dynamics and the do's & don'ts of drones in this field.

Education & Acceptance: Foundation of a technology driven agri sector

We all know that the use of drones in almost every sector of the economy is growing fast. Similarly, its usage in the agricultural industry is booming. From providing ease to the farmers to protecting the crop yield from multiple threats, drones can be deployed for many different purposes.

Reportedly, the Uttar Pradesh govt is making concerted efforts for multifaceted use of drone technology, from running awareness campaigns to organising drone-related events. The adoption of this technology is not highlighted by just the benefits it offers, but by the fact that it requires proper education, faith and learning.

Highlighting the first stepping stone for the government and the farmers themselves, Milind Raj, drone expert said, "Farmers need to put absolute faith in the technology. As the technology is evolving, the users of such technology also need to evolve. And for the government, farmers should be given hands-on training and should be educated about eliminating the idea of failure."

Modern challenges require modern solutions

Talking about the challenges the agrarian society in the state faces, crop failure due to adverse weather conditions and uncontrolled pest issues are the key contributors. And with increasing dependency on rains for irrigation and age-old methods for other farming practices, the quality and quantity of agricultural produce have seen a setback.

So, let's take it step by step. What if crop failure could be detected in advance, and necessary steps could be taken? What if there is a more advanced farming technique with zero harmful impact? What if the crop fields could be put under 24*7 surveillance, thus leading to better chances of failure mitigation and security?

Technology has grown to become a modern-day saviour. The general notion that goes as 'Man vs Machine' is totally wrong, instead, the way technology has been helping humanity to solve these major challenges, it can be said that Man+Machine vs Modern challenges.

Milind Raj

Well, if you look closely, these are the challenges faced when traditional farm practices are being used. The drone technology, on the other hand, will offer the farmer real-time weather updates, upcoming days' weather forecasts, and soil conditions depending on the upcoming weather condition, and will be able to provide an average amount of yield in the season.

When asked about how drone technology can eliminate the modern-day challenges of agriculture, Milind mentioned, "the drones can single-handedly solve all such troubles a farmer faces. Just attach the device for the dedicated problem, and you have the solution. For example, when hyperspectral and multispectral sensors are added to the drone, it can give a farmer insights like soil condition, seed health even when it's 2 to 2.5 ft under the ground."

Benefits of Drone technology in agriculture:

  • Raw data collected by drones can be translated into useful and comprehensible information for farmers.

  • Plant size, plot statistics, stand number, compromised plots, planter skips, crop height and density, leaf area, anomaly detection, treatment efficacy, infestations, phenology and irrigation irregularities.

  • Drones ensure permanent monitoring of the crop in the field from planting to harvest.

  • Real-time data to mitigate the threats like weeds, pests, and fungi and make arrangements depending on the weather conditions.

  • Drone field monitoring to monitor the health of soil and field conditions. Planting with drones means very hard-to-reach areas can be replanted without endangering workers.

Digitally driven agriculture is becoming the need of the hour. There is a huge scope for the use of multiple applications in drone farming in Uttar Pradesh. Other than this, being a young technology in agriculture its market and use are also expected to grow significantly in the coming years. For Uttar Pradesh, the plans to set up drone manufacturing units will be a game-changer, offering efficient solutions and empowering farmers with knowledge.

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