Farmers from the city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh are now learning how to use drones to plant seeds in their farms.
A team of experts led by the Director of the Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Ramesh Chand, recently visited the Khutahan village to demonstrate the use of drones during farming.
“The technology will help farmers reduce the cost of farming and increase their efficiency,” Chand told the media. He said the farmers were satisfied with the experiment.
He opined that the drones were used in the fields of the `rice-wheat cropping system`, where tractors could not be used for tilling due to wet soil. This cropping system is the main feature of the Indo-Gangetic plains.
He said both rice and wheat have different soil requirements. If rice needs stagnant water conditions, wheat requires well-pulverised soil balanced with moisture, air and thermal regime. Due to this a key feature of the `rice-wheat cropping system` is the annual conversion of soil from aerobic to anaerobic and then back to aerobic conditions.
He said the use of drones could not only enhance overall performance but also encourage farmers to solve other assorted barriers and receive plenty of benefits through precision agriculture.
The demand for drone technology equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and remote sensing features is rising because of its advantages. The system allows drones to shoot pods, seeds and crucial nutrients in the soil.
This technology not only reduces the cost but also increases consistency and efficiency. “It took just 15 minutes to sow the seeds in a field of one bigha,” he said, adding that some research and development is needed for further improvement in drone sowing which could also be used in paddy plantation.
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