- The Indian government has announced that it will subsidize the purchase of agricultural drones by up to 100% for certain organizations in the sector, in order to offer training and encourage adoption of the technology.
- It will provide a grant covering 100% of the cost of drones — up to a total cost of ₹1 million ($13,400) — to ag research and education establishments, including the Indian Council of Agricultural Research Institutes, Farm Machinery Training & Testing Institutes, Krishi Vigyan Kendra extension centers, and state agricultural universities.
- In addition, government-backed cooperatives called Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) will be able to get a grant towards 75% of the cost of drones for the purpose of conducting displays on their farmer-members’ fields. Custom Hiring Centers which lease equipment to farmers will get up to 50% off the basic cost of drones and attachments.
Why it matters:
Drones can help farmers monitor their crops more precisely, spray more efficiently, and improve their yields. However, the cost of the technology means that it remains out of reach for the vast majority of farmers in India.
According to farming publication Krishi Jagran, a spokesperson from the Indian Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare said: “The subsidized purchase of agri-drones [will] make the technology inexpensive, resulting in their widespread adoption. This will make drones more accessible to the common man in the country and will significantly encourage domestic drone production.”