Drones new sensation in rural TN, opens up farmers to new facets of agricultural

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Chennai, Dec 18 (UNI)- Droves have become the new sensation in rural Tamil Nadu and it has helped farmers to gain access to new facets of agricultural technology.

Farmers in serene rural hamlets of Tamil Nadu are acquainting themselves with the new drone-based technology for spraying nano-liquid urea and fertilizers in their fields with the help of Madras Fertilizers Limited (MFL).

If one happens to visit any rural village in Tamil Nadu of late, one cannot miss the buzzing sound of a drone from the vicinity.

No, it is not any wedding or cinema shoot that is happening. In these serene rural hamlets of Tamil Nadu, farmers are acquainting themselves with the new drone-based technology for spraying nano-liquid urea and fertilizers in their fields. MFL is imparting awareness about such new technical innovations to farmers as a part of the ongoing Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra.

Compared to the traditional method of spraying pesticides and liquid fertilizers, the utilization of Kisan-Drones presents a paradigm shift in terms of both time and cost efficiency. Mr K. Suresh Kumar, Additional Manager, MFL, Chennai, said.

He said “what used to take an hour in the conventional approach can now be accomplished by drones in a mere five to seven minutes. Additionally, the drone requires only 10 litres of water per acre, a stark contrast to the 100 litres needed in the conventional method.”

He also emphasizes that direct application on crop leaves enhances the yield of the crop and ensures that soil fertility is not lost.

This technological leap not only saves time and resources but also minimizes human exposure to hazardous chemicals, he added.

Overseeing the awareness campaign in Salem and Namakkal districts as part of Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, Mr Suresh underscores the transformative potential of drones in agriculture.

As the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra proceeds to more villages across the state, farmers have started showing interest in the new technology.

Palanisamy, a farmer from Olapatti village in Mohanur block, Namakkal district, is hopeful that drone technology for spraying liquid urea and fertilizers will save him both time and money in the future.

Ms Poonkodi, a farmer from Adhikathur panchayath in Thiruvallur district, is also excited about the prospects of this new technology. With four decades of experience in agriculture, she believes that, in times when labor is scarce and expensive, drones are poised to be a game-changer.

To promote Kisan Drones, the Union Government is extending various facilities, including financial assistance. Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) under Cooperative Society of Farmers, Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs), and rural entrepreneurs are eligible for a 40% financial subsidy, up to a maximum of Rs.4 lakhs.

Agriculture graduates establishing CHCs can receive 50% assistance, up to Rs.5 lakhs per drone. For individual ownership, small and marginal farmers, scheduled caste/scheduled tribe members, women, and North Eastern state farmers are provided with 50% assistance, up to Rs. 5 lakhs, while other farmers receive 40%, up to Rs. 4 lakhs.

In a significant move to boost drone technology in rural agriculture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the NAMO Drone Didi scheme on November 30, 2023. The initiative aims to provide drones to 15,000 women Self Help Groups (SHGs) for rental services to farmers.

This multifaceted scheme not only modernizes agricultural practices but also places cutting-edge technology in the hands of rural women, positioning them as key players in the agricultural revolution. Furthermore, it creates avenues for young startups to delve into the untapped potential of drone aeronautics.

Officials said that drones are just one part of the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, which is creating waves in rural areas of Tamil Nadu.

Public engagement goes beyond agricultural innovation as residents avail themselves of various central government services during the campaign.

The registration for the PM Ujjwala scheme, facilitated by gas agencies, brings free LPG connections to women in need. Furthermore, the campaign acts as a hub for diverse services, including Aadhaar details updation and the opening of various accounts, provided by Indian Postal Department and Nationalized banks.

The synergy between technological advancement and accessible government services paints a transformative picture of progress in these rural landscapes.

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