Syngenta India starts 10,000 km Drone Yatra; To educate farmers on drone spraying across 13 states
Maharashtra, Nashik, July 21, 2022: Inspired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi’s vision on use of drone in agriculture, Syngenta India, a leading agri-business company started a unique ‘Drone Yatra’ to educate farmers on use of drones. This first-of-its-kind initiative has reached Nashik which was flagged off by Syngenta leadership from its headquarter in Pune.
Taking technology in agriculture to a new level, Country Head & MD of Syngenta India Susheel Kumar and Chief Information & Digital Officer, Syngenta Group Feroz Sheikh flagged off India’s first Drone Yatra on July 15.2022, that will travel 10,000 kms to create awareness on drone spraying among 10,000 farmers. The Yatra will travel to 13 states to demonstrate and educate farmers on use of drones. Syngenta is first private company to get approval from Central Insecticides Board, Government of India to use drones for spraying of its product Amistar on paddy to protect the crops against fungal infections, Blast & Sheath Blight.
“Use of drones, and a host of other technology-led innovations, are in keeping with our commitment to help Indian farmers improve their yield, increase their profitability and grow more sustainably. For 94 years of our existence in India, we have been at the forefront of innovation, and served Indian farmers with quality crop protection products, seeds and solutions that are produced entirely in India for India.” said Kumar.
Highlighting the preparedness and drone usage, Kumar informed, “Syngenta is ready with two products (a fungicide and insecticide) for six crops including cotton, rice and soybean for drone spraying. Syngenta will start with 50 drones and use them to spray 30,000 acres of farmland across the country. The company is launching drone spraying after conducting trials on 400 acres. Data has also been submitted to regulators for 20 crops”.
Feroz Sheikh, Chief Information and Digital Officer, Syngenta Group, said, “The regulatory environment and favourable policies in the country has enabled us to take this drone technology to the farmers. The next two to three years will see a huge leap in Indian agriculture because the government is opening up the sector for drones”.
On importance of drone for farmers, Kumar informed that the shortage of farm labour for spraying is a growing problem and drones would solve this problem for farmers. This will be an efficient solution as drones uses only around 12 litres of water instead of 150-200 litres of water as against spraying is done manually. It takes around half a day to spray one acre manually, which would be done in 5-8 minutes by the drones. This also allowed for precision and targeted spraying without wastage, and would limit the farmers’ exposure to agro-chemicals.
Apart from spraying, these drones in future will also be used for capturing images and generating data that would be used to offer advisories to the farmers. It would be taking the drones to some clusters and working on generating demand for drone spraying with teams on the ground. Plans are to create agri entrepreneurs and train them to offer these services at the village level, Kumar added further.
Apart from Maharashtra, Drone Yatra will travel in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan and West Bengal.
Syngenta is one of the world’s leading agriculture companies, helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources. Our ambition is to help safely feed the world while taking care of the planet. We aim to improve the sustainability, quality and safety of agriculture with world class science and innovative crop solutions. In more than 100 countries we are working to transform how crops are grown. Through partnerships, collaboration and The Good Growth Plan we are committed to accelerating innovation for farmers and nature, striving for regenerative agriculture, helping people stay safe and healthy and partnering for impact.