The government on Monday said it is promoting the use of 'Kisan drones' and conditions are favourable to take such technology to the farmers. Addressing a conference, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said modernisation of the agricultural sector is on the agenda of the government.
Kisan drones are being promoted for crop assessment, digitisation of land records, spraying of pesticides and nutrients for which a budget provision has also been made, he noted.
For promoting use of Kisan drones, the government is providing 50 percent or maximum Rs. 5 lakh subsidy to SC/STs, small and marginal farmers, women and farmers of north-eastern states for buying drones. For other farmers, financial assistance will be given up to 40 percent or maximum Rs. 4 lakh, an official statement quoted the minister as saying at the event.
In order to provide agricultural services through drone application, financial assistance at 40 percent of the basic cost of drone and its attachments or Rs. 4 lakh, whichever is less, is also provided for drone purchase by existing and new Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) under Cooperative Society of Farmers, Farmers Producer Organisations (FPOs) and rural entrepreneurs.
The agriculture graduates establishing CHCs are eligible to receive financial assistance at 50 percent of the cost of drone, up to a maximum Rs. 5 lakh.
In addition to the already identified entities for drone demonstration, other agricultural institutions of the state and central government and central public sector undertakings engaged in agricultural activities have also been brought in the eligibility list for financial assistance for farmers' drone demonstration.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary said this new technology is aimed to reach more farmers, which will reduce the cost of production and increase their income.
Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja said the conditions are favourable to take drones to the farmers and the government is also committed in this regard.