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Here's How Drone Services Are Giving Wings To Farmers Drones can improve agriculture standards in the country by assisting farmers in different activities and better data management

By Amit Sinha

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As different sectors and industries continue to flourish with technological advancements, it seems that now is the time for agriculture to benefit from the latest developments as well. One such technology that can revolutionise agriculture is drone service. Experts have predicted that a full-fledged introduction of drones in different agricultural activities could potentially revolutionise the entire sector. As per estimates, drone usage in agrarian activities shall grow at a compound annual growth rate of 38.5 per cent, with the total industry size surpassing $121 million by the end of 2030. Drones shall make up around 2 per cent of total agricultural machinery spending in the country.

This unprecedented growth in the usage and implementation of drones in the agricultural sector could be attributed to the diverse range of benefits offered by the technology to Indian farmers. Besides improving the farming processes and streamlining market interaction, drone services have given the Indian farming industry a much-needed push.

Here are some of the reasons why drone services are embraced and could revolutionise the agricultural sector:

Improved agricultural performance

There are different areas where the introduction of drones can be critical for overall agricultural output. Some of the best drone practices include irrigation monitoring, crop health and damage management, field soil analysis, planting, and agricultural spraying. All these activities can be carried out with utmost accuracy and eliminate the need for human effort.

Enhanced production

With better irrigation, crop monitoring and data sharing, farmers receive a higher production capability. It becomes easier for a farmer to evaluate the environmental changes and alter the course of action, resulting in higher output.

Effective and adaptive techniques

Data monitoring and usage help provide regular updates to the farmers about existing or forthcoming crops. In addition, farmers can adapt to weather conditions and allocate resources without waste.

Safety of farmers

The agriculture (and allied) sector engages roughly 55 per cent of the Indian population, meaning that around 0.70 billion people depend on these activities for their livelihood. However, a few activities, such as pesticide management in terrains challenging to reach, infected areas, taller crops and power lines, could pose a significant risk towards the health and well-being of individuals. With the introduction of drones, farmers can resolve such issues and carry out these activities safely and smoothly.

Faster availability of data for decision-making

One of the critical aspects of drone services could be the availability of a wide range of data at a quicker pace in the comfort of smartphones. Data helps analyse the situation in real-time, enabling quick decisions without second-guessing. Drones could be programmed to concentrate on different aspects, such as infected crops/unhealthy crops, other coloured crops, moisture levels, etc. Hence, the overall crop management system could be improved drastically with data analytics and usage facilitated through drones.

Government support

To modernise the agricultural sector and ensure that the farmers benefit from the latest technology and data management facilitated by drones, the central government has introduced various facilities, such as 40 per cent assistance from custom hiring centres (CHCs). The government's outlook is broadly positive, focusing on improving agriculture quality and reducing the cost of providing drone-related services to farmers.

Summing up

Drones can improve agriculture standards in the country by assisting farmers in different activities and better data management. Introducing drone services can reduce the wastage of human efforts and resources generally associated with agricultural activities. Hence, per capita output provided by the sector can increase substantially. The accuracy rates of available data can be improved drastically; therefore, the overall decision-making can be better than ever. Eventually, drones can provide 'wings' to the farmers, which can help their businesses grow and flourish.

Amit Sinha

Co-Founder, Unnati

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