Vattavada and Kanthalloor, the biggest cool season vegetable cultivating villages in the State, is all set to get assistance of modern technology. The agri engineering wing, under the State agricultural wing, on Wednesday completed a demonstration of biopesticide spraying using drones.
Farmers in Vattavada and Kanthalloor, the state’s largest cool season vegetable farming villages, are about to benefit from contemporary technologies.
The State agricultural wing’s agri engineering department performed a demonstration of biopesticide spraying utilising drones on Wednesday at Pallamvayal in Vattavada grama panchayat. Officials said there were plans to employ drone technology to deliver fertilisers and biopesticides to cool-season vegetable gardens in Vattavada, near Munnar.
Spraying Crops With Biopesticides
According to Shylaja N., Assistant Executive Engineer (Agri), the project is being carried out via the Central government’s Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) programme. “Drone spraying demonstrations have been performed successfully in a rice field at Alakkode in Thodupuzha, a tea garden at Kamakshi near Kattappana, and a cold season vegetable farm at Vattavada,” Ms Shylaja added.
“Farmers may obtain a 50% discount on a drone with a capacity of 10 litres, while Farm Producer Organizations (FDOs) can get a 75% subsidy,” Ms Shylaja explained. According to officials, members of the cool-season vegetable producers association indicated an interest in using the drone facility. Ambily C., Agricultural Deputy Director (Credit), stated that primary agricultural cooperative organisations may purchase drones with only 1% interest under the Agricultural Infrastructure Fund.
“In Vattavada alone, cool season vegetable growing covers an area of 2,500 hectares.” While individual farmers cannot afford to purchase drones, they can participate in the plan with the help of basic agricultural cooperative organisations,” Ms Ambily explained.
Drones & Vegetable Producers
Drone farming also has a lot of potential in the tea industry, according to the official. According to K. Jayaprakash, a farmer in Vattavada, individual farmers could only acquire drones with the help of the local panchayat or cooperative groups. Meanwhile, the technique may not be extended to cardamom plantations, one of the district’s most important crops. “Because cardamom plants grow under tree shadow, drones cannot be used inside cardamom farms,” an official explained.
A farmer will be able to predict wood or sugarcane production if a LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor is added to the drone and AI is used. Some academics are even developing AI-enabled tools to speed up soil examination.
Drones for agricultural usage are classified into two types: fixed wing drones and multi-copter drones. Fixed-wing drones are more durable, can resist harsh weather, and often have a longer flying time than multi-copter drones.
Complete, ready-to-fly ag drone systems range in price from $1,500 to well over $25,000. Farms who wish to fly their own imaging missions and agriculture service providers and those who fly drones for farmers are the two categories of professionals who could desire to own an agriculture drone.
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