The major objective is to develop indigenous prototype for drone based crop and soil health monitoring system using hyperspectral remote sensing (HRS) sensors. This technology could also be integrated with satellite-based technologies for large scale applications
Drone technology based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has ability for smooth scouting over farm fields, gathering precise information and transmitting the data on real time basis. This capability could be used for the benefit of farming sector at regional/local scale for assessing land and crop health; extent, type and severity of damage besides issuing forewarning, post-event management and settlement of compensation under crop insurance schemes
The Indian government has launched a collaborative research project involving use of drone technology in farming sector for assessing quality of soil and compensation for losses due to flood, the Ministry of Agriculture said in a Lok Sabha query. The project aims to implement Hyperspectral Remote Sensing using drone systems and developing a locally researched prototype for soil health monitoring and integrating it with satellites for large scale agricultural applications in the future.
This technology could also be integrated with satellite-based technologies for large scale applications
Drones will soon be seen scouting over farm fields in India, gathering required geographical data using sensors, pictures, etc. and transmitting such information in real time. This technology will be used primarily in farming sector at regional/local levels for assessing land and crop health; extent, type and severity of damage, issuing forewarning, and settlement of compensation under crop insurance schemes.
The government of India
Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY)
Ministry of Communication and Information Technology
Information Technology Research Academy (ITRA)
Drone policy in India
In May, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had released a draft paper (pdf) with guidelines for obtaining a Unique Identification Number (UIN) and permission to fly a civil unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The DGCA cited increasing civil use of UAS for damage assessment of property and life in areas with natural calamities, for surveys, infrastructure monitoring, commercial photography, aerial mapping etc., as reasons for the requirement of guidelines.
In March, the Government of India had amended the Customs Baggage Declaration regulations to make it mandatory (pdf) to declare drones in customs forms, for people coming to India. On declaration, users will need to report to the customs officer at the Red Channel counter and are liable to pay duty on the item. The regulation will come into force on the 1st of April.
Other agricultural projects by government
Online trading for farmers: In April, the government launched an online trading platform for farmers, connecting them to a network of wholesale agricultural markets. The platform is an extension of National Agricultural Market (NAM) scheme, which was first approved in July 2015 with a Rs 200 crore budget.
AGMARKNET Scheme: The AGMARKNET initiative is being directed by the Ministry of Agriculture. It has already computerized a number of mandis, providing daily mandi rates through its online website. It also introduced two mobile apps—Kisan Suvidha & AgriMarket, which helps farmers procure information on crop insurance and prices of agricultural commodities.
Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) involving six partner institutes (agriculture and IT)