Bayer initiates drone trials in Hyderabad
Bayer, a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of healthcare and agriculture, conducted its first drone trial on November 23 at its multi-crop breeding centre in Chandipa near Hyderabad. Drone farming aims to enable sustainable farm productivity, access to real-time advisory and better farmer crop yields and incomes.
Bayer, a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of healthcare and agriculture, conducted its first drone trial on November 23 at its multi-crop breeding centre in Chandipa near Hyderabad.
Drone farming aims to enable sustainable farm productivity, access to real-time advisory and better farmer crop yields and incomes.
The on-ground event, showcasing a field demonstration on the use of drones in agricultural operations, was attended by eminent partners and industry stakeholders, including representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Indian Council of Agricultural Research.
Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar shared a message on this occasion. “I’m really happy to learn that Bayer is organizing a pilot project on the use of drones in agriculture. India is making giant strides in technology and digitalization and adopting these for enhancing agricultural purposes is a step forward in our efforts to provide a strong impetus to farmers’ prosperity. Usage of drones in agriculture will revolutionize farm operations and empower our farmers.”
The agriculture landscape is evolving rapidly, yet India’s smallholder farmers continue to face several challenges. These include labour shortages, low productivity, limited access or know-how to mechanize the agricultural processes, in addition to environmental challenges like unpredictable weather fluctuations. Adopting digital technologies, such as drones, can help overcome these obstacles and support more targeted applications of insect, weed and disease-control products.
Bayer has been working closely with the Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Civil Aviation, industry bodies, regulators, policymakers and drone manufacturers over the last few years to introduce a conducive policy framework for the implementation of drone technology in Indian agriculture.
"The Ministry of Civil Aviation appreciates the importance of drone technology in nation-building. It has been the Government’s endeavour to create a liberalized policy framework that facilitates more participation by industry, academia and startups. This collaboration will create solutions at the grassroots level. We look forward to seeing the commercial application of agri-drones for the betterment of our farmers", said Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
D Narain, CEO & MD, Bayer CropScience Limited said, “Drone applications are operating in other small farmer countries in Asia and have the potential to deliver significant value to smallholders in India, as well as for the economy and the planet. We are proud of the results of our drone trial in Hyderabad.”
Bayer has partnered with an innovative drone startup, General Aeronautics, and conducted several in-house and external R&D trials with universities and central research institutions to generate data to make drone-based services available to farmers.
Based on the initial achievements of drone farming, growers may be able to explore the technology’s capabilities in aiding paddy, corn, sugarcane, wheat, vegetables, fruits and plantation crops and harvests in the future.