Drones to help Kuttanad farmers spray crops

SEP 01, 2022

Demonstration held at Kainakary Kadumkayyal

The Agriculture department is planning to expand the use of drone technology in crop fertilization, spraying biopesticides and so on in rice fields in Alappuzha.

As part of popularising the technology among farmers, a demonstration of drone spraying biopesticide (instead of a pesticide, water was sprayed) was held at Kainakary Kadumkayyal paddy polder in Kuttanad on Thursday.

Inaugurating the spraying, District Collector V.R. Krishna Teja urged officials to conduct awareness programmes to allay the concerns of people while introducing new technologies in agriculture.

The Agriculture department is aiming to use drones for spraying nutrients, micronutrients, biopesticides; weed management; pest control and aerial survey. As part of Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) scheme of the Central government, individual farmers would be provided with a subsidy up to ?5 lakh for purchasing drones, said an official.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) better known as drones have already been deployed in some fields in the district. The last 'puncha' crop season saw the use of drones for foliar application of nutrients and biopesticides in around 6,000 acres in the district, a majority in the Kuttanad region.

The cost for spraying an acre of paddy field is around ?1,000, which includes the rent of the drone ?800 and the price of micronutrients.

According to farmers, the rate is the same when the process is done manually. Among the biggest advantages are it saves a lot of time and drones, which use GPS, can evenly spray the contents on all plants increasing the chances of higher yield.

Kainakary grama panchayat president M.C. Prasad presided.

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