Farmers in North Bihar use drone technology to increase production and boost income

Patna, May 1 (IANS): Vimal Singh, a farmer from Samartha village in Samastipur district of Bihar, is today learning drone piloting techniques to improve crop production on his 3.5 acre plot.

“The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle helps farmers like us map my current agricultural field, followed by spraying pesticides as well as soil and crop nutrients at minimum cost, which has not only increased our crop production Rabi , but also our income,” Singh said. .

Bipin Rai from Vishnupura village in Samastipur also shared a similar experience. He says: “In traditional agriculture, it is not easy to calculate soil moisture. The drone allows us to read the real state of the land to be sown. soil nutrients in every corner of land.Overall, it is a fruitful experience for us which increases our income and reduces our expenses.

“Over the past few months, scientists and engineers from Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Global Indian Scientists and Technocrats (GIST) visited our villages. They interacted with us and learned about our traditional farming methods. shared our farming operational methods. We usually use a manual farming method which is labor intensive. They gave us advice on advanced levels of scientific farming through drone technology which is generally used in developed countries in Europe and the United States,” Rai said.

Rahul Paswan from Samartha village said, “I have 7 acres of land which I used for wheat crops and I managed to earn a net profit of Rs 2.25 lakh. It is more than Rs Extra 1 lakh due to drone technology which reduced my farming expenses Crop production almost doubled.

Pankaj Kumar Gupta, a researcher at the University of Waterloo in Canada, who recently visited the villages of Samartha and Vishnupura, said: “Farmers in Samastipur have embraced the technology that we have shared with them over the past few months, especially agricultural drone technology.Drones are equipped with many advanced technological features, including multi-spectacle photo and video cameras and thermal sensors that can be useful for soil moisture monitoring and analysis. field, fertigation, planting, harvesting and many other tasks apart from pesticide spraying and seeding without any loss of labor.”

“It would be a great challenge for us to trigger socio-economic changes in the hinterland of Bihar with the latest technologies. fertile in all of the Indo-Gangetic belt,” Sharad Mohan, a US-based technocrat.

During the visit to these places, GIST and ICRA officials largely focused on estimating natural resources and developing some low-cost hydrological structures, modern drainage schemes to control waterlogging in North Bihar district. Waterlogging during the monsoon season is a regular feature in North Bihar.

The joint efforts of GIST and ICAR also planned to demonstrate microbiomes for the integrated management of groundwater, soil health and public health in and around the targeted area.

“Multi-spectacle cameras and sensors installed on drones manage to detect dead plants at the micro level. Following this, farmers and authorities would take corrective measures well in advance, which is not only useful for increasing quantities, but also for the quality of the crops,” said AK Singh, Deputy Director General of ICRA.

“The accurate scientific estimate would also help the government assess compensation for crop losses due to natural calamities,” Singh said.

High-tech mechanization like the use of drones for agriculture would boost rural entrepreneurship and reverse migration in rural areas of Bihar,” says Arun Kumar Pandey, Advisor to the Indian Drone Federation.

The use of drone technology for farmers was also mentioned in a speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2021. Additionally, central and state governments provide subsidies for drones for agricultural purposes.

Officials hope agri-tech could inspire young people in rural areas to learn science-based farming methods at low cost.

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