DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

What is Drone?

  • A drone is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Drones are also known by some other names such as unmanned aircraft systems, aircraft without a human pilot, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Drones can be operated in different ways such as by humans or fully or partially automated by an onboard computer.
  • Compared to manned aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles are often chosen for tasks that are dull, unpleasant, or dangerous for humans.
  • Initially, drones were mostly used in military applications. However, it has since been used in commercial, scientific, recreational, agricultural, and other applications such as policy and surveillance, aerial photography, etc.

DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

Advantages of Drone use in Agriculture

  • Precision agriculture: Drones helps in finding water requirement, disease-pests infestation, moisture levels, and nutrient deficiencies. This data allows farmers to make more informed decisions about where and when to apply fertilizers, pesticides, or water, optimizing resource utilization and minimizing waste.
  • Crop monitoring and assessment: Drones can quickly cover large areas of farmland, enabling regular and efficient monitoring of crops throughout the growing season. This helps detect issues like pests, diseases, or irrigation problems early on, allowing for timely intervention and preventing potential crop losses.
  • Time and cost-saving: Drones helps farmers in saving time and labor. They can cover vast/huge areas in a short time, reducing the need for manual inspections and potentially reducing the need for hiring additional labor. This results in cost savings for farmers. It can also make possible operations in the hilly area for the crops like tea, coffee etc.
  • Accessibility and flexibility: Drones can access areas that are difficult for humans to touch, such as steep terrains, hilly areas, areas inside tunnels, area in seas, river side area, large fields, or locations with limited accessibility. They can fly at different altitudes and adjust flight paths as needed making them flexible tools for various agricultural environments.
  • Real-time data analysis: Some high-quality drones can analyze data in real-time in short time duration. This high level capacity allows farmers to receive immediate feedback/signal and insights about their crops, while the drone is in flight and farmers can take remedial measures quickly. So, drone plays an important role in real-time data analysis of farms.
  • Crop yield prediction: By collecting data on crop health and growth parameters during various crop growth and stages, drones can help in estimating potential yields before the harvest of the crops. This information aids in planning logistics, storage, and marketing strategies. This is also helpful for the Agriculture department of the state and country.
  • Identification of problematic areas: Thermal imaging cameras can identify any variations in crop temperature during various growth stages, which can indicate potential problem areas like water stress or disease outbreaks, the requirement of nutrients even before symptoms appear in the field. It can helps in increasing the yield and post-harvest management of the crops.
  • Integration with other technologies: Drones can be integrated/connected/compatible with other technologies also, such as GPS, other software etc.
DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

Different types of Drones:

  • A drone system consists of an aerial vehicle, a high-resolution camera, a global positioning system (GPS), and sensors.
  • It is controlled by remote control at the ground station.
  • There are generally two types of drones.
  • Rotary-wing drones or drones with rotating wings (eg helicopters)
  • Fixed-wing drones or drones with fixed wings (eg airplanes).
  • Both types of drones are usually equipped with automatic or semi-automatic systems, which use GPS to fly on a pre-determined route for greater accuracy.
DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

Drones and its Market:

  • Its international sales will be 250,000 by 2025. Drones have proven to be an important tool for many companies gaining popularity in achieving quick results.
  • The use of unmanned aerial vehicles is coming from time to time with companies all over the world in various stages of experimentation, research and business support.
  • In countries like Japan and Australia where there is no ban, their consumption is increasing rapidly. UK, Canada and initially the US.
  • Their use is limited in countries like The International Unmanned Vehicle Systems Association predicts that in the first three years of unmanned aerial vehicles, more than 70,000 jobs (including 34,000 in manufacturing) will be created in the US with an economic impact of $13.6 billion.
  • In the year 2025, the number of jobs will increase to one lakh and the economic impact will increase to 82 billion dollars. According to the International Unmanned Vehicle Systems Association, National Aerospace (Airspace) is delayed for commercial UAV integration every year.
  • More than 10 billion have been lost in economic capacity. With advancement, many industries in different sectors will implement unmanned aerial vehicles to replace humans for automated work.
  • Overall we found that the implementation of UAVs in industries depends on two things, market viability and the complexity of the solution.

DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

World’s major Drone Players in the Market:

ManufactureCountry
SkyquadIndia
Hindustan AeronauticsIndia
Tech EagleIndia
Chennai MicroelectronicsIndia
DJIIndia
Skylark DronesIndia
Aero360India
Hindustan AeronauticsIndia
RattanIndia EnterprisesIndia
DCM Shriram IndustriesIndia
DJIChina
ParrotFrench
Aquiline DronesUSA
Bell FlightUSA
DragonflyUSA

Drone Cost:

The cost of drone depends on various factors such as manufacturer, material used, dual control mode, video capture resolution, effective pixels etc, however drone cost ranges from Rs.5000 to 500000.

Bank loan Schemes:

As the drone market is growing rapidly in India and world, to tap this business opportunity some banks have designed drone finance schemes as under.

Generic Schematic details of Bank fiancé schemes as under. However, scheme may differ from bank to bank.

DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

Detailed scheme features are mentioned hereunder:

Loan scheme for purchase of new Drones for agricultural usages under Custom hiring activity/own agriculture purpose

Purpose:

  • For purchase of Drones with equipment/accessories for agriculture usages such as spraying pesticides, fertilizers, anti-locust spraying, mapping of farmlands, etc. under Custom hiring activity/own agriculture purpose.

Eligibility:

  • Applicant shall be individual/joint individual farmers /Proprietorship / Partnerships / Companies / Co-operative societies, FPO’s / FPC, etc. involved in custom hiring activity and for own Agriculture purpose.
  • In case of Joint individuals, there should not be more than 2 individuals. Custom hiring centres/Hi tech hubs will also be eligible for interest subventions benefits/CGTMSE coverage under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) scheme.
  • In case of Individuals, applicant should possess remote pilot license from institute specified by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) or from any authorized remote pilot training organization and should have passed the class tenth examination or its equivalent from a recognized Board. In case Joint Individuals, at least one individual should possess the above license and prescribed education qualification.
  • In case of other constitutions, it is to be ensured that the person employed to use the Drones for agriculture purpose, should possess the above license and prescribed education qualification. A suitable undertaking to be obtained in this regard from the borrower. Branch shall also obtain the copy of license from DGCA and also details such as education qualification, experience, etc. of the concerned person operating the drone.
  • Applicant shall have good reputation in the market.
  • Age of the farmer should be in the range of 25 years to 60 years. In case of joint individuals (not more than two), the age criteria to be complied with at least for one individual. For others no specific age criteria to be followed.

Margin:

25% of the Unit cost including other accessories and equipment (Insurance and AMC can be considered as part of Project cost)

Loan Amount:

Maximum 75% of unit cost (Including other accessories and equipment) based on quotation subject to maximum of ₹12.00 Lakhs for purchase of upto 2 drones.

Nature of loan:

Term loan

Rate of Interest:

As per the bank’s extent guidelines

Loan limit:

Upto max loan amount of ₹20.00 lakhs

Security:

Primary security:

Hypothecation of asset created out of Bank finance.

DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

Collateral security:

Eligible borrowers shall be covered under the credit guarantee scheme of CGTMSE in lieu of collateral security.

For covering the borrower under CGTMSE, obtention of Udyami Registration certificate is mandatory along with other criteria to be complied with.

In case no CGTMSE coverage is available, mortgage of land or cash/liquid collateral (with the accepted value of land should be more than 100% of the loan amount) is mandatory.

Loan Assessment:   

Based on the projected cash flows submitted by the Borrower from the activity.

Repayment Period:

Maximum repayment period of 3 years and interest/installment is to be serviced monthly including the maximum moratorium period of 3 months. Moratorium period should be allowed judiciously wherever required.

Service Charges:     

As per extant guidelines on Service charges

Use of drones in agriculture

  • Agriculture can involve 80 percent of drones.
  • According to experts, agriculture is the most promising market for drones as the technology is suitable for large farms and large villages, where there are privacy and security issues.
  • Already, farmers, researchers, and companies are developing unmanned aerial systems for crop surveys, disease or pesticide and fertilizer testing.
DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

FOLLOWING ARE SOME RELIABLE APPLICATIONS OF DRONES IN THE FIELD OF AGRICULTURE.

(1) Crop Health Inspection:
  • Assessment of crop health and spotting bacterial or fungal infections must be done on trees.
  • Crop scanning is done using visible (Visible) and near-infrared light (Near-infrared Light-NIR).
  • Drone-powered devices can learn which plants reflect green light and NIR reflected light from different types of light.
  • This information can produce multispectral images, which track changes in plants and indicates their health.
  • Additionally, as diseases are detected, farmers can apply and monitor treatments more precisely.
  • These two possibilities increase the plant’s ability to overcome disease.
  • Additionally, farmers will be able to more effectively document indemnity insurance claims in the event of crop failure.
 (2) Verification of irrigation management
  • Management of multiple irrigations is very laborious.
  • Drones with hyperspectral, multispectral, or thermal sensors can identify which parts of a field are dry or need improvement.
  • In addition, as the crop grows, we can calculate the vegetation index with the help of drones, which describes the relative density and health of the crop and heat content shows how much energy or heat the crop emits.

DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

(3) Weed control:
  • With the help of (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index-NDVI) data and photo processing, we can create a weed map and the agronomist can easily distinguish more weed spread from healthy crop field.
  • The use of aerial drones for weed control is a relatively new application.
  • Drones can be useful in weed control in the following situations.
  • Control Weed Spray: When spray sites are difficult for us to access.
  • Target Weed Spay: When you need spraying on a specific spot or area of a specific crop.
  • Spray with GPS Tracking: When you need a specific spray record.
  • Unobtrusive and quiet when people need to minimize disturbance.
(4) Soil analysis:
  • Drones can be an important tool early in the crop cycle. In the early stages, drone soil analysis produces specific types of three-dimensional (3-D) maps that are useful in planning seed planting patterns.
  • Post-planting drone-based soil analysis provides data for managing irrigation and nitrogen levels.
(5) Livestock monitoring:
  • Farmers and herders have large herds of animals roaming the vast land around them.
  • Often some of these Animals do get lost. Smart drones offer an efficient way to track or locate a lost animal.
  • A new reality for ranchers is using agricultural drones to manage their animal herds.
  • Drones are used in conservation projects for wildlife monitoring as well as for enumeration.
(6) Insurance and disaster management
  • Drones can provide more accurate up-to-date information on what is being grown for government and insurance agencies.
  • This provides information on such failed crops and bumper production for individual farmers.
  • Private insurance companies are using drones to photograph fields and, if approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, can provide data to calculate crop yields.
  • Currently, drones are being used as a pilot scheme by insurance companies.
  • Ministry of Agriculture Prime Minister Fasal Vima Yojana (PMFBY) has been approved by the Cabinet in January 2016. Such modern technology is said to be used for this scheme.
DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

Drone Regulations in Different Countries:

Ethical concerns and accidents involving drones or UAVs have led various countries to regulate drones as detailed below.

CountryRegulation
AustraliaPermission
JapanPermission
IndiaAfter permission from the Ministry of Aviation of UAVs Directorate General of Internal Aviation and Defence
CanadaOn Law since 2008

 

USAUAVs between 250 grams and 25 kilograms require registration with the FAA
UKAfter permission from the Ministry
  • Agriculture has been revolutionized in recent years, from the digital revolution to precision farming requiring permission from the Internal Aviation Authority.
  • Monitoring agricultural crops from the sky can be said to be a step forward in agriculture.
  • In the near future, agricultural drones will be as common a tool as any other device and we have already started talking about what we can do with them in agriculture.
  • Can we use it for spraying pesticides? There is no doubt that the use of drones will prove to be a revolution in agriculture in the short term.

DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

Summary:

Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can be operated by humans or fully or partially automated by an onboard computer. They are popular in various applications, including military, commercial, scientific, recreational, agricultural, and aerial photography.

International sales of drones are expected to reach 250,000 by 2025, with the US seeing over 70,000 jobs created in the first three years and an economic impact of $13.6 billion. Major drone players include Country Skyquad, Hindustan Aeronautics, Tech Eagle, Chennai Microelectronics, DJI, Skylark Drones, IAero360, Hindustan Aeronautics, Rattan Enterprises, DCM Shriram Industries, Parrot, French Aquiline Drones, Bell Flight, and Dragonfly.

Drones are also being used in agriculture, with 80% involved in agriculture due to privacy and security concerns. Drones can be used for crop health inspection, verification of irrigation management, weed control, soil analysis, livestock monitoring, conservation projects, wildlife monitoring, insurance and disaster management, and crop yield calculation.

DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

DRONE USE IN AGRICULTURE

FAQs

1. What is Drone?

Ans.: A drone is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Drones are also known by some other names such as unmanned aircraft systems, aircraft without a human pilot, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Drones can be operated in different ways such as by humans or fully or partially automated by an onboard computer. Compared to manned aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles are often chosen for tasks that are dull, unpleasant, or dangerous for humans. Initially, drones were mostly used in military applications. However, it has since been used in commercial, scientific, recreational, agricultural, and other applications such as policy and surveillance, aerial photography, etc.

2. What is the use of drones in smart agriculture?

Ans.: Drone can be used for different purposes in Agriculture as: • Crop Health Inspection: • Verification of irrigation management • Weed control • Soil analysis • Livestock monitoring • Insurance and disaster management.

3. What are the advantages of Drone use in Agriculture?

Ans: • Precision agriculture • Crop monitoring and assessment • Time and cost-saving: Accessibility and flexibility • Real-time data analysis • Crop yield prediction • Identification of problematic areas: Integration with other technologies

 

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