Ministry of Agriculture changes guidelines to promote the use of drones in agriculture | India is blooming

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New Delhi/UNI: In a bid to promote precision farming in India, the Ministry of Agriculture on Saturday changed policies to promote the use of drones in agriculture and also announced subsidies to purchase of these drones until March 2023.

An official statement said that the guidelines of the ‘Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization’ (SMAM) have been amended and will provide for the granting of up to 100% of the cost of the agricultural drone or Rs 10 lakhs, depending on the amount. the lower, as a subsidy for the purchase of drones by agricultural machinery training and testing institutes, ICAR institutes, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and state agricultural universities to carry out large-scale demonstrations of this technology in farmers’ fields.

Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) would be eligible to receive grants of up to 75% of the cost of agricultural drones for its demonstrations on farmers’ fields.

A contingency expense of Rs 6,000 per hectare would be provided to implementing agencies who do not wish to purchase drones but will rent drones for demonstrations at custom recruitment centers, high-tech centers, drone manufacturers and start-ups. -ups.

The possible expenses of implementing agencies purchasing drones for drone demonstrations would be limited to Rs 3,000 per hectare. Financial aid and grants would be available until March 31, 2023.

For the purchase of drones by the existing Custom Recruitment Centers which are set up by the Cooperative Society of Farmers, FPOs and rural entrepreneurs, 40% of the base cost of the drone and its attachments or Rs 4 lakhs, whichever is less, would be given as financial assistance.

New CHCs or High Tech Centers will be established by Farmer Cooperative Societies, FPOs and Rural Entrepreneurs with financial assistance under central schemes can also include drone as one of the machines along with other machines agricultural.

Agriculture graduates establishing one-to-one hiring centers would be eligible to receive 50% of the base cost of the drone and its accessories or up to Rs 5 lakhs in grants for the purchase of drones.

Rural contractors must have passed the tenth class examination or its equivalent from a recognized board and must have a distance pilot license from the Institute specified by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) or any body authorized remote pilot training course.

“The subsidized purchase of agricultural drones for community health/high-tech centers will make the technology affordable, which will result in their widespread adoption. This would make drones more accessible to the common man in India and will also encourage more significantly the domestic production of drones,” the statement said. noted.

Drone operations are authorized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) through the conditional exemption route.

The MoCA on August 25, 2021 issued the “Drone Rules 2021” to regulate the use and operation of drones in India.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare has also issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the use of drone application with pesticides for crop protection in agricultural, forestry, non-crop areas. , etc., and for drone application in soil and crop spraying. Nutrients.

Demonstrator institutions and all agricultural service providers through the drone application must comply with these rules/regulations and SOPs.

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