In order to promote the use of drone technology in agriculture, the government has taken several steps. Financial assistance @ 100% of the cost of agriculture drone up to a maximum of Rs. 10 lakhs per drone for purchase of drones by institutes under Indian Council of Agricultural Research. The Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs) are provided grants up to 75% for its demonstrations on the farmers' fields.
To make drone services available to farmers on a rental basis, Custom Hiring Centers under the Cooperative Society of Farmers, FPOs, and Rural Entrepreneurs give financial help at 40% up to a maximum of Rs. 4.00 lakhs for the purchase of drones.
A contingency expenditure of Rs.6000 per acre is offered to implementing agencies that do not wish to purchase drones but instead wish to hire drones for demonstrations from Custom Hiring Centres, Hi-tech Hubs, Drone Manufacturers, and Start-Ups.
Agriculture graduates who open Custom Hiring Centers are eligible for financial help of 50% of the cost of the drone, up to a maximum of Rs.5.00 lakhs per drone. Small and marginal, Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe, Women, and North Eastern State farmers receive financial help at 50% of the cost up to a maximum of Rs. 5.00 lakhs, while other farmers receive 40% up to a maximum of Rs. 4.00 lakhs.
Subsidies For Drones
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has received Rs. 52.50 crores in funding to conduct large-scale demonstrations of drone technology on farmers’ fields across the nation via 100 Kishi Vigyan Kendras, 75 ICAR institutes, and 25 State Agricultural Universities.
A total of Rs. 70.88 crores has also been allocated to various state governments for demonstration, farmer subsidies, and the construction of Custom Hiring Centres to provide drone services to farmers.
This information was provided by Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
In his response, the Minister stated that the use of drones in agriculture is beneficial to farmers because it has some distinct advantages such as high field capacity and efficiency, less turnaround time and other field operational delays, pesticide and fertiliser wastage reduction due to high degree of atomization, water saving due to ultra-low volume spraying technology in comparison to traditional spraying methods, and cost reduction of spraying and fertiliser application in comparison to traditional spraying methods.
On February 24, 2021, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) announced the “Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme” with the goal of increasing domestic manufacturing, investments, and exports in telecom and networking products.
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