Unlocking the potential of drone technology in agriculture: Agtech startups take off

With the continuous growth of the world’s population, the need to meet food and nutritional needs is paramount. India produced around 275 million tonnes of food in 2018 and is projected to increase production by five million tonnes annually to feed the population in the next decade. To achieve this, farmers must conserve soil nutrients for maximum yield. Although most farmers use traditional methods such as manual application of fertilizers and pesticides, there are problems such as lack of labor, energy, product obsolescence, and overuse. However, agricultural innovations such as drone technology are gradually meeting these challenges and improving the agricultural practices of farmers.  While western farmers have been using drone technology for years, its adoption in the Indian agricultural landscape is quite nascent. 

According to a report by FICCI-EY, the drone industry could increase India’s production potential to around $23 billion by 2030. The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has introduced a 40-50 percent subsidy for drones to various farmer groups in India in 2022 to help them simplify agricultural practices and improve food production.

Making precision agriculture a reality.

 Drones have become an important tool that facilitates precision agriculture and gives farmers tools to improve farming practices. Farmers can use drones to closely monitor crop health, identify areas that need immediate attention, and optimize resource allocation. This precision ensures that water, fertilizers, and pesticides are only sprayed when needed, reducing waste and environmental impact. This increases revenue and cost savings. Today, drones are also equipped with advanced imaging technology that gives farmers a real-time view of the entire farm, allowing farmers to make informed decisions quickly and efficiently. The result is a more sustainable, efficient, and profitable farming system.

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