Pilot Project - Technology Piloting of Drone Based Services in Agriculture Operations
Sep 28, 2022
The existing practice of spraying Pesticides has serious health implications for man and on the environment.
Spraying of pesticides and fertilizer is highly dependent on hired labour in the large farm and similarly on family labour for smaller-sized farms.
The traditional method of spraying is non-uniform to the crops and that results in the deterioration of crop health, causing financial loss to the farmers.
Thus the timely application of the recommended sprays within the specified time frame remains the main challenge for the farmers.
Purpose of the Project
The purpose of the project is to demonstrate the use of drones in introducing mechanization into operations, improving the efficiency of agriculture activities for farmers and show its impact on crop production & productivity
The drones can be used for spraying fertilisers/pesticides, crop monitoring and analysis (smart / precision agriculture) etc.
The opportunity will also be taken to train rural youth as drone pilots, who will be supported with drones, later in the project period (based on the farmer demands and efficacy of the operations).
the project will strive to develop a suitable farming system model which is technology driven and can support farmers in increasing production and reduction in the cost of cultivation.
Adoption and acceptance of the latest technology by farmers.
Judicious use of the chemicals used in crop spraying (cost efficiency and productivity)
Tangible increase in the crop production levels (per acre)
Sustainable drone pilot entrepreneurs, with access to market linkages.
1350 Acre of the area to be covered with drone spraying.
Key Challenges faced
Erratic Rainfall: This year the rainfall was very erratic, which has affected the normal spray schedule which was planned earlier.
Continues Rainfall: During the month of Sept 21, there was continuous rainfall occurred which adversely affected the spray operation by Drone. The drone team was there at the field location for almost 20 days, however, hardly 4-5 days were found to be suitable for spray by drone.
Nozzle size of Drone to compete with Cotton Row – Row distance: The normal drone nozzle is arranged as per the 4 Ft size and the spacing of Cotton was at 6 Ft. In the initial spray, that was difficult to spray with the nozzle structure. Then modification was made to the drone to make proper spraying.
Wind Speed: In the afternoon, the wind speed is quite high in that condition spraying with the drone was quite difficult and the drone get unbalanced in between. The modification was made.
Usage of Water and Speed of a drone during the spray operation: In normal conditions, spray operation through drone used 10 litres of water in 1 acre. Normally in manual spray farmers used Farmer’s uses 120 to 150 Litter of water. Hence, farmers were not convinced with 10 Liter in 1 acre so they suggested increasing the use of water and reducing the speed of drones.
Farm Area: Due to rainfall, the village and farm roads were not compatible to move around while keeping heavy drones and their equipment.