Andhra’s ANGRAU gets DGCA permission for imparting training in operating drones for agriculture, conventional purposes


“Drones will save water, time and help scout crop and soil health,” say scientists.

“Drones will save water, time and help scout crop and soil health,” say scientists.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has sanctioned approval to impart training to operate drones for agriculture and conventional purposes in Acharya N. G. Ranga Agriculture University (ANGRAU), Lam.

Andhra Pradesh Sensors and Smart Applications Research in Agriculture (APSARA), launched in Lam farms in the university in Guntur, will give training on operating drones, which is for the first of its kind in India, said ANGRAU Vice-Chancellor Adala Vishnuvardhan Reddy.

DGCA Director Jitender Loura, who visited the university recently, verified the curriculum designed by Centre for APSARA Principal Investigator and Senior Scientist, A. Sambaiah, in pilot training of remote air crafts in agriculture, said ANGRAU Director (Research) L. Prasanthi.

“Agriculture drones can be used for spraying herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and foliar nutrients in chilly, paddy, cotton, sugar cane, black gram, maize, jowar, red gram, Bengal gram, groundnut and other crops. The university has conducted trials on the farms in the university and performed crop specific standard operating procedures of ten major crops being cultivated in Andhra Pradesh,” said the Vice-Chancellor.

Speaking to The Hindu on November 11, Dr. Sambaiah said the university management will give notification shortly for launch of the remote pilot training course, approved by the DGCA. “Permission has been accorded to the university to conduct drone operating training courses up to 2032,” he said.

“Farmers and youth possessing the essential criteria prescribed by DGCA are eligible for the 12-day drone operating course. Agriculture, agricultural engineering diploma, intermediate or having equivalent and above qualification can undergo training in agriculture remote pilot course (ARPC). “Use of drones in agricultural operations will save water and time, minimise investment cost and prevent harm, if any, caused by pesticides and fertilizers to the farmers,” Dr. Prasanthi said.

“A ten litre capacity drone can complete spraying in one acre farm in just 10 minutes. Through drones, farmers can reduce wastage of 25% pesticides and crop and soil health scouting from time to time,” Dr. Sambaiah said.

“Successfully trained remote pilot operators will be given certificates. The theme of launching the project is to provide employment to the rural youth and train farmers themselves in the technology,” the APSARA scientists said.


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