LIFESTYLE

Centre grants interim approval to ‘Kisan Drones’, releases SOPs

More than two months after it was announced in the Union Budget, the Centre on Monday granted an interim approval for spraying of nearly all the registered pesticides formulations using Kisan Drones and also brought out the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Kisan Drones are slated to be used in pesticide and nutrient application by providing precise instructions for effective and safe operations of drones.

In the Union Budget, the government had said, the use of `Kisan Drones` will be promoted for crop assessment, digitization of land records, and spraying of insecticides, and nutrients.

The Department of Agriculture and Farmers` Welfare said it brought out the SOPs after consultation with the stakeholders on this sector.

These pesticide formulations that have been granted interim approval are those whose safety and efficacy has already been evaluated on different crops and are already being used in the country using other methods, Agriculture Ministry officials said.

The application of pesticides using drones will not only make it easier for farmers to efficiently protect plants from pests but will also eventually help in increasing their incomes through reduced input costs.

On February 18, in a special drive aimed at helping farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, in a virtual ceremony, flagged off 100 Kisan Drones across different cities and towns demonstrating spraying of pesticides or carrying agro-products to markets.

He had listed the various sectors that the drones are already being used for apart from agriculture, those used in SVAMITVA scheme for surveying and documenting land records to supply of medicines and even vaccines in inaccessible areas.

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“Spraying of fertilisers is being done by drones. `Kisan Drones` is a new age revolution. Very soon, high-capacity drones will help the farmers to send fresh vegetables, fruits, and flowers straight to the market. Fisherfolks can send fresh catch from lakes, rivers, or from seas directly for selling,” Modi had then said.

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