How Are Drones Helping Farmers, Patients, Officials and Professionals in Rajasthan?

Revolutionizing Agriculture, Mining, Medicine Delivery and Photography
With the utilization of drones for spraying pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, farmers can significantly save time, labour, and water resources, ultimately leading to improved crop yields.
With the utilization of drones for spraying pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, farmers can significantly save time, labour, and water resources, ultimately leading to improved crop yields. Image- MPUAT, Udaipur

Udaipur- In Rajasthan, the integration of drone technology is catalyzing a multifaceted revolution, benefiting farmers, critical patients , photographers, forest and mining department officials, agriculture students, teachers. Drones are aiding in the delivery of essential medicines, and even contributing to the fight against illegal mining.

From the verdant farmlands to the rugged wilderness, drones are emerging as indispensable tools, transcending traditional boundaries to unlock new opportunities for growth and development. These aerial marvels are not only optimizing crop management practices, capturing breathtaking imagery, and monitoring forest ecosystems but also facilitating the swift delivery of medicines to remote areas.

Government officials are utilizing drones for efficient monitoring of land use, illegal activities like mining, and disaster response. With their versatility and capabilities, drones are revolutionizing operations and facilitating growth and development in Rajasthan's diverse industries.

Revolutionizing Agriculture: Drones in Farming and Education

In agriculture, drones are helping farmers optimize crop management practices, conserve resources, and increase yields. This shift towards innovation was kick-started around one-and-a-half years ago in Rajasthan's Sriganganagar district when drones made their debut on the agricultural stage. The then Congress government in 2023 had announced that 1,500 drones will be made available to farmers through custom hiring centres by the state government in two years.

Sharing insights with The Mooknayak, Sudhir Verma, Joint Director Agriculture, Udaipur division said, by adopting innovative approaches like drone-based spraying, the government aims to empower farmers with advanced tools and methodologies that can optimize resource utilization, improve crop health, and ultimately bolster agricultural output.

" The BJP government too, demonstrated drones in the recently held Sankalp yatra, it was said that drones would be provided at subsidized rates to farmers and agriculture graduates through the Rajasthan Agricultural Technology Mission. Under the scheme, 1,000 drones will be available to cooperative societies, custom hiring centers, and farmer's producers' organizations. Additionally, another 1,000 drones will be provided to unemployed young agriculture graduates at subsidized rates," he informed.

"The effectiveness of drones is undeniable," Verma asserted, highlighting their unparalleled efficiency in pesticide application. He elaborated, stating, "A drone can spray 10 litres of pesticides in 2 beegas of land, whereas the same task may require 300 litres if done manually in the same area."

Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology (MPUAT), Udaipur, has taken significant strides in enhancing agricultural education and extension through the acquisition of two agricultural drones provided by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

These drones have been deployed for field operations, with one being used in Udaipur and the other at the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) in Bhilwara. Sharing details with The Mooknayak, Prof Latika Vyas at the Directorate of Extension Education, MPUAT emphasizes that the drone technology is expected to bring about a new era of efficiency and effectiveness in agricultural practices, benefiting both students and farmers alike.

Furthermore, MPUAT recently organized a live demonstration of nano urea spraying by drone in its adopted village, Madar. Led by Vice Chancellor Dr. Ajit Kumar Karnataka, the program showcased the potential of drones in modernizing agricultural practices and increasing productivity.

Farmers were encouraged to use drones on rental basis as per their affordability and requirement. With the utilization of drones for spraying pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, farmers can significantly save time, labor, and water resources, ultimately leading to improved crop yields.

In November 2023, a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was formalized between Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology (MPUAT) and Dhanuka Agritech Limited. The primary focus of this collaboration is the establishment of a state-of-the-art Drone Lab in Udaipur.

The MoU emphasizes fostering innovation and creating employment opportunities in the agricultural sector through education and research.

At the Drone lab researchers will delve into cutting-edge applications, with a specific focus on drone-assisted pesticide spraying in crops and field studies. The collaboration will extend financial support to MPUAT students pursuing B.Sc.(Agriculture) and M.Sc., fostering excellence in academics and nurturing future agricultural leaders

Utilizing Drone Technology to Combat Illegal Mining

In a recent development aimed at curbing illegal mining activities in Rajasthan, the Mines Secretary, Anandhi, has instructed departmental officers to utilize drone technology for conducting surveys in large mining areas. The objective of this initiative is to identify and put a stop to illegal mining operations effectively.

By employing drones for surveys, authorities can gather accurate data and evidence, facilitating prompt action against any unauthorized mining activities across the state. This proactive approach aims to promote transparency, accountability, and sustainable management of natural resources while safeguarding against illegal exploitation.

Untapped Potential: Drones in Fisheries Management

Fisheries, often overlooked in the desert state of Rajasthan, have immense potential to benefit from the integration of drone technology. Dr. LL Sharma, former Dean of the Fisheries College in Udaipur, recognizes the vast potential of drones in assessing water bodies, evaluating water productivity, and monitoring fish populations.

By gathering data on water quality, habitat conditions, and fish abundance from the air, drones assist fisheries managers in making informed decisions about stocking, habitat restoration, and sustainable aquaculture practices.

Dr Sharma states, " Although drone usage in fishing and aquaculture is still in its infancy in India, the potential for its application extends beyond Rajasthan to coastal regions and inland water bodies across the country."

Transforming Healthcare: Drone Delivery Initiative

On September 16, 2023, AIIMS Jodhpur partnered with a drone developer company to facilitate the transportation of medicine, medical supplies, and patient samples using drone technology. A milestone maiden flight was conducted from Abu Road to a remote village named Waloriya in Sirohi district, covering a distance of approximately 35km in less than 20 minutes.

Skye Air Mobility has bagged seven contracts from various institutions, including AIIMS Jodhpur and AIIMS Rajkot, whereby the company will deploy advanced drone technology for delivery of medical supplies.

The contracts have been awarded by AIIMS Jodhpur (Rajasthan), AIIMS Rajkot (Gujarat), AIIMS Bhubaneswar (Odisha), AIIHPH Kolkata (West Bengal), CLTR Chengalpattu (Tamil Nadu), RLTRI Bankura (West Bengal) and RLTRI Aska (Odisha), the company said in a release.

The use of drones in photography, particularly in marriage and pre-wedding shoots, has revolutionized the way memories are captured and cherished. Speaking to The Mooknayak, Rishabh Jain, a photographer based in Udaipur, emphasizes the advantages of incorporating drones into his work, stating, "Drones have completely transformed the photography landscape, allowing us to capture stunning aerial shots and unique perspectives that were previously inaccessible."

With drones, photographers can now capture breath taking aerial views of wedding venues, scenic landscapes, and romantic moments, adding an extra dimension of grandeur and elegance to their portfolios. Moreover, the use of drones has not only enhanced the quality of photography but has also significantly increased income opportunities for photographers. By offering clients innovative and visually captivating shots, photographers like Rishabh Jain have been able to attract more clients and command higher fees, thereby elevating their business and artistic endeavors to new heights.

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