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'Drone tech' a handy tool to boost agri-sector, say experts

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New Delhi | Tuesday, Nov 20 2018 IST
The use of drone technology for crop insurance surveys could be a major game changer in making the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) an effective scheme at the ground level, experts say.

"Adaption of drone technology in agriculture can ease the process of production and enhance productivity, both in terms of quality and quantity," said Sai Aerotech Innovations Founder and CEO Sai Pattabiram.

Better known as Zuppa, this Chennai-based firm manufactures 'the only made in India' drones.

Mr Patabiram says, precision agricultural technology is perhaps the only solution to boost production, considering that world population will reach a whooping 9 billion by 2050, with demand from agriculture expanding manifold. Among the various precision agricultural technologies, drones make a very prominent mark.Drone technology with its powerful telematics capability can be adapted to create multiple solutions across sectors including agriculture, mining, and defense.

Citing an example, he added, "Data on precise crop health can be monitored and recorded regularly using drones. Farmers can immediately intervene, when required, thus ensuring better production. Precision agricultural technology like this will ensure that India's cherished vision of 'more crop per drop' can be fulfilled." Zuppa has come up with several solutions for the agricultural sector, leveraging drone technology. For example, their drones in the air can be used to survey the fields, map weeds, estimate yield and soil variation. This helps in precise application of pesticides, fertilizers etc, thus improving productivity at large and also helping in cost saving.

"Today, the agricultural sector is bearing the brunt of both higher costs and reduced labor. Use of technology is the only real option to meet the anticipated higher volumes of food consumption," said Pattabiram.

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