01 February 2022, New Delhi: CropLife India welcomes the Indian government’s decision of initiating the use of Drones for Agrochemical Spraying in the Union Budget 2022-23. The Use of drones will be promoted for crop assessment, digitization of land records, spraying of insecticides and nutrients. The government will facilitate a fund with blended capital raised under the co-investment model through NABARD to finance agri start-ups and rural enterprises in a PPP mode.
The fund would finance start-ups for agriculture and rural enterprise relevant for farm produce value chain. The activities of these start-ups will include inter-area support for farmer-producer organizations (FPOs), machineries for farmers on a rental basis at the farm level and IT based services.
The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for use of Drone application for crop protection in agricultural, forestry, non-cropped areas, etc. was released in December 2021. This SOP will render guidance to the stakeholders involved in undertaking safe and effective control of Pest and diseases by Drone based application.
Mr. Asitava Sen, Chief Executive Officer, CropLife India shared, “It is extremely delightful to witness the inclusion of “Kisan Drones” in the Union Budget 2022-23. The Government’s push towards Digitalization of Agriculture coupled with the focus on Hi-Tech services would enhance rural entrepreneurship and infuse youth back in the farmlands, boosting the income of the farmers”.
Mr. Sen added, “CropLife India is very happy to be part of the transparent deliberations within Department of Agriculture, Central Insecticide Board and Ministry of Civil Aviation and industry experts in the development of the pragmatic SOP and Guidelines for product Registration requirements for drone application for agrochemicals, in an exemplary schedule. These guidelines will now be studied and set the benchmark for ongoing engagements in other Asian countries.”.
CropLife India and its members have been urging the Government to reduce the GST on agrochemicals from the current 18% to 12% and provide 200% weighted deduction on R&D expenses by agrochemical companies; both of which would have directly benefited the farmers.