To promote the use of drone technology in agriculture, the following provisions have been made under the guidelines of the Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) being implemented by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW):

(i) Financial assistance @ 100% of the cost of agriculture drone up to a maximum of Rs. 10 lakhs per drone is provided for the purchase of drones by institutes under Indian Council of Agricultural Research, KrishiVigyanKendras (KVKs), State Agriculture Universities (SAUs), State and other Central Government Agricultural Institutions/Departments and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) of Government of India engaged in agricultural activities. A grant of up to 75% of the cost of agriculture drones is provided to Farmer’s Producer Organizations (FPOs) for their demonstrations on the farms. For implementing agencies who do not want to invest in drones, a contingency expenditure of Rs.6000 per hectare is provided so that they can hire drones for demonstrations from Custom Hiring Centres, Hi-tech Hubs, Drone Manufacturers and Start-Ups. A contingent expenditure of Rs.3000 per hectare is allowed for implementing agencies that purchase drones for drone demonstrations.

(ii) In order to make available drone services to farmers on a rental basis, financial assistance @ 40% up to a maximum of Rs. 4.00 lakhs are provided for the purchase of drones by Custom Hiring Centers under the Cooperative Society of Farmers, FPOs , and Rural entrepreneurs. A maximum of Rs.5.00 lakhs per drone will be offered as financial assistance to agriculture graduates who establish Custom Hiring Centers.

Read More: Business strategy of Gillette | The Razor and Blade Model

(iii) For individual purchase of drones, the Small and Marginal, Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe, Women, and North Eastern State farmers are provided financial assistance @ 50% of the cost up to a maximum of Rs. 5.00 lakhs and other farmers @ 40% up to a maximum of Rs. 4.00 lakhs.

A standard operating procedure (SOP) developed by the DA&FW for the effective and safe operation of drones for making pesticide and nutrient applications has been released.  According to the Drone (Amendment) Rules, 2022, notified by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), drone operations are governed throughout the country. Guidelines/protocols for registration requirements of pesticides for drone application have been prescribed by the Central Insecticides Board & Registration Committee (CIB&RC). It has also finalized the test protocols for phyto-toxicity evaluation and for bio-efficacy evaluation of pesticide formulation.

The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar provided this information in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

Tags: , , , ,