Agri Ministry to use Drones to support PMFBY

The agriculture ministry was allowed to use drones for the purpose of remote sensing data collection under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).

Highlights

  • The conditional permission was granted to use the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
  • The RPAS will be used by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoAFW) for remote sensing data collection in the agricultural areas of 100 districts.
  • It will be used at the gram panchayat level yield estimation.
  • This conditional exemption will be valid for one year after the date of issue or until the operationalisation of the Digital Sky Platform.
  • The use of the drones will still require to obtain necessary clearances from the local administration.

Uses of Drones in Agriculture

Drones collect the raw data and translate it into useful information. Thus, they can be used to monitor following parameters in agriculture:

  1. It can monitor the crop health such as damage made by pests and change in the colour of crops because of pest infection.
  2. It can also look after vegetation indices such as anomaly detection, leaf area, yield, treatment efficacy and phenology.
  3. It can monitor the plant height and density.
  4. It can identify water-stressed parts of the field or the orchard that needs watering.
  5. It can also perform soil analysis and nutrient availability for a better plant nutrient management.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

UAV is also known as a drone or a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS). It is an aircraft which runs without any human pilot on board. It is a component of the unmanned aircraft system (UAS).  The flight of UAV is operated either under remote control by human operator or by onboard computers autonomously.

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)

This scheme was launched in February 2016. It is an insurance service for farmers to secure their yields. This scheme was launched under the theme if “One Nation–One Scheme”. It replaced the two schemes namely the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS). The scheme was launched with the aim of reducing premium burden on farmers. It also seeks to ensure early settlement of crop assurance claim.

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