After receiving previous approval from the authorities, the Center permitted the use of drones last year for spraying agricultural inputs including pesticides and fertilizers.
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Feroz Sheikh, chief information and digital officer of the world’s largest provider of agricultural inputs, Syngenta India, called the adoption of drones in the agriculture sector a turning point for the industry.
Sheikh told that this technology will enable the industry to adopt more complex models faster. After receiving previous approval from the authorities, the Center permitted the use of drones last year for spraying agricultural inputs including pesticides and fertilizers. Companies that provide agricultural input have begun the process of registering the specific compounds that will be sprayed by drone. The government of Maharashtra has recently proposed a specific subsidy for drone purchases by village-level business owners.
Susheel Kumar, country head and managing director of Syngenta India, stated that further compounds are in the works and that the business has received approval from the Central Insecticides Board (CIB) for the use of two molecules. According to Kumar, the business conducted extensive experiments to compile and submit the data required for clearance. He said that 400 acres of land were used for trials, mostly in Uttar Pradesh.
The corporation has chosen to spray around 30,000 acres of land in Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana using 50 drones this Kharif season. The crops that would be sprayed include paddy, cotton, and soybeans. According to Kumar, the company is collaborating for customization with 5–6 drone manufacturers. Drones would need improvement in terms of durability, flight dynamics, and other areas because the technology is new.
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