India needs a robust policy framework in application of agrochemical spray using drones: FICCI-CropLife Paper

A FICCI-CropLife Technical Paper on ‘Drone Usage For Agrochemical Spraying’, released today highlights the application of agrochemical spraying via drones in India, the benefits and potential risk and mitigation strategy around it. 

The report was released at a FICCI webinar ‘Drones Application Technology in Spraying for Crop Protection’ by Mr Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and  Ms Shomita Biswas, Joint Secretary (M&T), Ministry of Agriculture.  The technical paper also outlines the drone regulation in other countries such as the EU, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, citing the best practices in agrochemical spraying. 

Mr Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt of India said that FICCI along with other industry stakeholders should come forward with indigenous solutions for Indian problems. Highlighting the potential of drones’ usage in the agriculture sector, he said, “There are around 1 lac villages which can be benefited by the drones. We can design special purpose drones and industry must focus on developing low cost drones for them.” He also stressed on industry tie-up with central or state level agricultural universities or institutions for getting the necessary approvals. 

Ms Shomita Biswas, Joint Secretary (M&T), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare said that drone enabled technology can be very useful in soil analysis of the fields. This can also help us in better irrigation management and maintaining correct nitrogen levels. She urged the startups to create drone planting system which will reduce the planting cost considerably.  Dr S K Malhotra, Agriculture Commissioner and Chairman, Registration Committee, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare opined, “Drone spraying would help the farmers to increase their productivity, lower water consumption, higher  efficiency; besides being safe for human and the environment. The Registration Committee is looking into various aspects of product approvals through drones application.”

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