Sarkari Yojana

Drones in Indian Agriculture

Updated on 25th April, 2024, By Arpit Srivastava
Drones in Indian Agriculture
Agriculture has long been a part of human civilization. Different methods and practices have been introduced and evolved over time to increase agricultural productivity. Recently, drones are being used to improve different aspects of agriculture as they offer several advantages. We look into the various aspects of drones in agriculture.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Agriculture Drones

With 47 per cent of the Indian population dependent on agriculture, boosting productivity and ensuring the nation's food security. We can improve productivity in agriculture with advanced technologies and computerised solutions. One such example of technology helping in productivity improvement is the use of drones.

Drones, which are commonly referred to as UAVs or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, are used in different aspects of farming, such as crop estimation, crop protection, crop monitoring, managing irrigation, and soil estimation. We will discuss how drones are transforming agriculture, it’s application, benefits, challenges, government regulations & schemes and future scope.

Applications Of Drones in Agriculture

  • Spraying
  • Crop monitoring
  • Livestock monitoring


Agriculture drone spraying is one of the most useful activities in agriculture. Drones can efficiently perform site-specific spraying of fertilisers and pesticides on farms, reducing farmer’s manual labour. Farmers use sensors to scan the area in real-time. Drones can spray five times faster than traditional methods. It improves spraying accuracy and saves time and cost in the long run. Prior adjustment to the speed, altitude and spraying accuracy is highly useful even in challenging terrains. The advantage of using drones for spraying is that it reduces the direct involvement of humans during the spraying of hazardous chemicals.

Crop Monitoring

Regular crop monitoring offers considerable information regarding different aspects of the crops. However, it is impossible to regularly monitor the crops due to unforeseen conditions, such as unpredictable weather; thus, drones offer great benefits during those times. They are simple to use for mass surveillance of agricultural land and crops. Monitoring crops in real-time offers precise data regarding crop development and helps easily and quickly identify any crop issue. This allows farmers to make informed decisions quickly to deal with any significant issues in crops.

Livestock Monitoring

Animal husbandry also uses drones. RFID tags are marked on animals, and their activity is monitored using drones. Livestock tracking can be done with less labour investment and less time. Farmers can create remote sensing-fencing or virtual boundaries in regions with vast livestock grazing areas.

Benefits Of Drones in Agriculture

  • Improved accuracy
  • Improved efficiency
  • Profitability
  • Improved Yield

Improved Accuracy: Drone for agriculture purposes can provide data through high-resolution images of the farms. This offers us a detailed view of the farm and can help us make the necessary adjustments on time with improved precision.

Improved Efficiency: We can easily gain substantial information regarding the field using drones, which can cover a large zone in one go. This allows us to monitor the crops and farms based on the collected data, thus tweaking things to improve overall productivity.

Profitability: Drones can increase overall profitability by reducing dependence on manual labour. Drones can accurately and precisely identify these areas and help reduce the cost involved in pesticides by limiting their use to specific parts only.

Improved Yield: Drones can help gather crop health information and data, which allows us to take action on time, thus protecting the crop on time and increasing the yield.

Challenges In Drone Use

Weather Dependent

Drones may not perform optimally in challenging weather conditions such as harsh rainfall or windy conditions, thus limiting their use in these times.

Technical Skills

While drones in farming offers benefits, it requires sufficient technical skills to operate a drone, which farmers cannot gain before training. However, the government provides drone training programs to help farmers develop skills and expertise in operating drones. Also, 63 DGCA-approved Remote Pilot Training Organisations provide drone training.

Operational Cost

The initial cost of farming by drones is high, which is added to the operational cost incurred when using it. Once the drone is purchased, spraying cost is affordable for an individual farmer.

Government Regulations

Government regulations play a crucial role in shaping the use of drones in agriculture. It influences how drone technology in agriculture can be used, its deployment, potential benefits and safety.

A license from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is required to operate drones for agriculture purposes. This is to prevent any air space violation and protect privacy. This is to ensure several aspects related to airspace management, data security, national security, safety of others, environmental impact, and legal consequences.

Schemes For Drones in India

Pradhan Mantri Drone Didi Yojana

Under this scheme, 15,000 women-led Self-Help Groups are eligible to get agriculture drones for their farming needs. It offers employment opportunities, improves productivity, and helps deliver essential items.

Kisan Drone Scheme

The scheme aims to empower farmers through the utilisation of drones to streamline diverse farming tasks like drone irrigation crop spraying drones to reduce labour and time and increase farmers' income.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research affiliated institutes, Central Government Agricultural Institutions, State Agriculture Universities, Public Sector Undertakings and Krishi Vigyan Kendra can avail full financial support for drone technology in agriculture, covering 100 per cent of the cost up to 10 lakhs per drone.

Hiring centres affiliated with the Farmer Cooperative Society offer up to 4 lakhs or 40 per cent in the procurement of drones.

Farmers in the North-Eastern States and marginal farmers are eligible for financial aid of 50 per cent in drone acquisition up to 5 lakhs.

Frequently Asked Questions on Drones in Indian Agriculture

1. What are the applications of drones in agriculture?

Drones can be used for various activities such as spraying, crop monitoring, and livestock monitoring.

Drones offer various advantages in farming, such as reduced cost, increased yield, and improved efficiency, which shows their importance in farming.

There are several schemes for drones in India, such as Pradhan Mantri Drone Didi Yojana, Kisan Drone Scheme, and other financial assistance programs, to promote drone farming.

The government aims to encourage farmers to use drones in farming to streamline diverse tasks like spraying, reduce cost and save time.

Drones are affordable for farming as they reduce operating costs and physical labour. Drones also optimize overall use with precise spraying, seeding, and surveying.

A license from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is required to operate drones for agriculture purposes.

Fixed-wing drones are used in agriculture to identify any issue, monitor the crops and map the fields.

Arpit Srivastava
Published By
Arpit Srivastava
Arpit holds a B.Tech degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Babu Banarasi Das Northern India Institute of Technology. He is a professional content writer having skillset of writing top quality research based content for various niche and industries. With over 7 years of experience, he holds expertise in writing SEO-friendly content on a wide range of topics related to agriculture, tractors, and farm implements. In his free time, he loves to explore new places, try different cuisines, and play sports like cricket and badminton.
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