Hi-tech farming: Drones to monitor agriculture growth in India

drone-sprayNewdelhi:The day is not far when drones would be seen over agricultural fields, not for security, but to monitor crop and soil health. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) through the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) under a collaborative research project is developing indigenous prototype for drone based crop and soil health monitoring system using Hyperspectral Remote Sensing (HRS) sensors. This technology could also be integrated with satellitebased technologies for large scale applications.

The project entitled “SENSAGRI: Sensor based Smart Agriculture” is involving six partner institutes (Agriculture & IT) to be funded by Information Technology Research Academy (ITRA), Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY), Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) and ICAR.

“Drone technology based Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has ability for smooth scouting over farm fields, gathering precise information and transmitting the data on real time basis,” Sudarshan Bhagat, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare told Lok Sabha on Tuesday. “This capability could be used for the benefit of farming sector at regional or local scale for assessing land and crop health; extent, type and severity of damage besides issuing forewarning, post-event management and settlement of compensation under crop insurance schemes,” he stated.