Agriculture Ministry releases crop-specific SOPs for use of pesticides with drones

Apr 21: Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar today released Crop Specific “Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the Application of Pesticides with Drones” in the public domain for the guidance of farmers and other stakeholders. Shri Tomar also released a booklet titled “Machinery for Millets Production, Processing and Value Addition”. On this occasion, Shri Tomar said that agriculture is our priority, so whether it is research or initiating schemes, the first priority of the government is to promote agriculture and improve the financial condition of the farmers. Today there are many challenges in the Agriculture sector. To retain the farmers, attract the new generation and increase the remuneration of the farmers by reducing the cost of production. For this, technical support in the agriculture sector is very important, the government is making continuous efforts in this direction.

Union Minister Shri Tomar said that there are possibilities of new challenges in the agriculture sector, therefore, along with a change in strategy from time to time, a change in methodology is necessary. Talking about the agriculture sector, without the support of technology, we will not be able to achieve our goals in the future, so efforts are being made to link the schemes with technology. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi also always emphasizes the support of technology and also works on them himself. Talking about major schemes, today under Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi, about Rs 2.5 lakh crore have reached the accounts of the farmers, in which there is no question mark. The micro-irrigation project is also yielding good results. Topics like Natural Farming are being taken forward. Our country made Nano Urea and the farmers will soon be able to avail the benefits of Nano DAP. Drone technology has been accepted by the government in the Agriculture sector. Last time when there was an outbreak of locusts, the need for the use of drones was felt at that time, since then drone technology is before us with the full support of the central government under the guidance of Prime Minister Shri Modi. In reducing the cost of agriculture and avoiding the side effects of pesticides, farmers will get extensive benefits from drones.

Shri Tomar said that whenever we undertake any new scheme, we must keep in mind that its benefits reach the last person. This is the reason why when the scheme of drones was being made, common farmers and common graduates were also included in it so that the use of drones could be made accessible to small farmers. Everyone needs to work together in this direction. For this, he stressed the need to make Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) more efficient and said that awareness sessions should be organized for graduate/post-graduate agricultural students in agricultural universities & colleges, through which they can getting employment, besides making them capable of farming on their own land. A plan should be made for the benefits of drones to reach the common man.

Shri Tomar said that on the initiative of Prime Minister Shri Modi, according to the declaration of the United Nations, the year 2023 is being celebrated worldwide as the International Year of Millets (Shree Anna). Shree Anna is getting priority and recognition in various events. For this, our responsibility has increased along with making us proud. If the demand and consumption of Shree Anna will increase in the country and the world, then along with production-productivity, processing and export will also have to be increased.

Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Manoj Ahuja, Director General of ICAR, Dr Himanshu Pathak, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Abhilaksh Likhi, Joint Secretary Smt. Shubha Thakur, Smt. S. Rukmani and Ms Vijayalakshmi, Agriculture Commissioner Shri P.K. Singh, Deputy Commissioners (Mechanization & Technology) Shri C.R. Lohi and Shri A.N. Meshram, Senior Officers, Scientists and representatives from Drone Federation of India, ICAR, SAU and States, Civil Aviation Ministry, FMTTI Director and farmers participated.

Grant-in-Aid for Drones – Under the Agricultural Mechanization Sub-Mission, ICAR institutes, KVKs, SAUs, other State/Central Government Agricultural Institutes and Government of India PSUs engaged in agricultural activities are provided financial assistance at the rate of 100% of the drone cost (up to Rs. 10 lakhs per drone) besides Contingent Expenses for the purpose of demonstration of drones in the farmers’ fields. FPOs are given grant-in-aid at the rate of 75% for the purchase of drones for the demonstration on farmers’ fields. For the purpose of providing agricultural services through the use of drones, financial assistance is given at the rate of 40% of the original cost of the drone by CHCs to Farmers Cooperative Society, FPOs and Rural Entrepreneurs for the purchase of drones, subject to a maximum of Rs.4 lakh. Agricultural Graduates setting up CHCs are provided financial assistance up to Rs. 5 lakhs at the rate of 50% of the cost of drones. Individual small and marginal farmers, SC-ST farmers, women farmers, and farmers of North-Eastern states will also get 50% of the cost of the drone subject to a maximum of Rs 5 lakh while other farmers are eligible for assistance at 40% of the cost of the drone, subject to a maximum of Rs. 4 lakhs.

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