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Nearly Rs 127 Cr released for Kisan Drone promotion

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar said funds amounting to Rs 126.99 crore have been released towards Kisan Drone promotions, based on proposals received so far.

This includes Rs 52.5 crore released to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for the purchase of 300 Kisan Drones and their demonstrations on farmers’ fields in 75,000 hectares through 100 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), 75 ICAR institutions, and 25 State Agriculture Universities (SAUs), the minister said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

It also includes funds released to various state governments for the supply of more than 300 Kisan Drones to farmers on subsidy and the establishment of more than 1,500 Kisan Drone Community Health Centres to provide drone services to farmers.

The use of Kisan Drones has the potential to provide ample employment opportunities to people in rural areas. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which provide concise instructions for effective and safe operations of drones for pesticide and nutrient application, have also been released.

Financial assistance has also provided under the Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation (SMAM). This includes:

(i) Financial assistance at 100% of the cost of the drone, up to a maximum of Rs 10 lakh per drone, has been provided for purchase of drones by institutes under the ICAR, KVKs, SAUs, state and other central government agricultural institutions and departments, and public sector undertakings (PSUs) of the Government of India engaged in agricultural activities.

Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs) are provided grants for up to 75% of the cost of agriculture drones for demonstrations on farmers’ fields. A contingency expenditure of Rs 6,000 per hectare is provided to implementing agencies that do not want to purchase drones but will hire them for demonstrations from Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs), hi-tech hubs, drone manufacturers, and startups.

The contingent expenditure for implementing agencies that purchase drones for demonstrations is limited to Rs 3,000 per hectare.

(ii) To make available drone services to farmers on a rental basis, financial assistance at 40% up to a maximum of Rs 4 lakh is provided for the purchase of drones by CHCs under the Cooperative Society of Farmers, FPOs, and Rural Entrepreneurs. Agriculture graduates establishing CHCs are eligible to receive financial assistance at 50% of the cost of the drone, up to a maximum of Rs 5 lakh per drone.

(iii) For individual purchases of drones, small and marginal, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, women, and North Eastern State farmers will receive financial assistance at 50% of the cost up to a maximum of Rs 5 lakh and other farmers at 40% up to a maximum of Rs 4 lakh.

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Written by Townreels

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