Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh government has unveiled plans to introduce drone technology in the state’s farming sector.
Agriculture minister Kurasala Kannababu announced the state’s move to use drone technology while presenting the agriculture and allied sectors budget in the assembly. He said the state government plans to spend Rs 200 crore on drone technology for the benefit of farmers.
The drones would help farmers optimise the use of inputs like water, fertilizers and seeds, in spraying operations, in addition to the spraying of pesticides to tackle weeds, pests and fungi.
At present, drones are being pressed into service only for the spraying of pesticides for protection of plants from pests in a short time. The government intends to extend drone services for seeding and for the application of liquid fertilizer.
Drones would be used for crop scouting to help assess damage to crops due to natural calamities like rains and floods and also to do soil health analysis.
The state government intends to launch 10,000 drones in a phased manner through the Rythu Bharosa Kendras and provide training to the rural youths on the maintenance and service of these drones with a target to generate employment for nearly 20,000 youths.
The Acharya NG Ranga Agriculture University has been doing research in drone technology under ‘APSARA Project’ since 2018-19 with the budget support from the Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. It will provide technical support to the state agriculture department to use the drones in the farm sector....