‘Pictures taken by drones on the condition of crops more useful than satellite images’
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) would soon submit a report to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare on the use of drone technology in agriculture, Deputy Director General of ICAR K. Alagusundaram stated here on Thursday. A committee led by Mr. Alagusundaram has already conducted wide ranging consultations with the stakeholders and also studied the use of drone-based applications in the betterment of agriculture. The committee is giving final touches to the report to be submitted to the Centre.
Speaking at a workshop organised by Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) on the topic of “drone-based applications in agriculture”, the ICAR official said the necessity of drone technology in agriculture is increasingly on the rise. Studies had proved that the pictures taken by drones on the condition of crops were proving to be more useful than the satellite images.
He, however, pointed out that the need for frequent recharging of batteries could be a hurdle in popularising the technology. He suggested that a policy decision by the Centre based on their report could bring drone services in the reach of the farming community through custom hiring centres.
A memorandum of understanding between PJTSAU and Madras Institute of Technology, a constituent institution of Anna University, on exchange of information on drone technology, was also signed by the two sides on the occasion. Vice-Chancellors of Anna University and PJTSAU M.K. Surappa and V. Praveen Rao, respectively, signed the MoU.
Every technology available across the globe should be brought within the reach of farmers to make agriculture attractive to the younger generations and also to make it remunerative. Shrinking availability of land for agricultural use and climate change is making the need of technology more relevant, Mr. Alagusundaram said.
Highlighting the need for making agriculture profitable, Mr. Surappa said drone, nano and bio technologies could play a vital role in that direction. Mr. Praveen Rao said China is ahead of other countries in the use of drone technology in agriculture and its need is increasingly felt in Telangana at a time when the opportunities of irrigation are on the rise.
Scientists from ICAR, ISRO, NRSA, NABARD, IIT-H, JNTU, Anna University, PJTSAU, Sri Konda Laxman Telangana State Horticultural University, officials from agriculture and forest departments and representatives of some private firms engaged in development of drone technologies participated in the meet.