Kerala Agri Varsity receives funding for drone research and demonstration

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The state’s KVKs also conducted on-farm trials (OFT) and frontline drone demonstrations. Drone spraying of the micronutrient Sampoorna resulted in a 20-22% increase in yield. The rice bug population in Palakkad has been reduced by 80% thanks to drone spraying of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana.








agricultural drone





The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has approved funding of Rs 65 lakh for research and demonstration of drone-based agricultural technologies by Kerala Agricultural University. While Rs 35 lakh has been set aside for drone research, the rest of Rs 30 lakh has been set aside for large-scale demonstrations of drone use in fields by Krishi Vigyan Kendras in Wayanad, Palakkad, Kollam and Kottayam.












KAU began drone testing in 2019 and standardized a number of flight and spray parameters. Early trials used biological control agents like Pseudomonas fluorescens and micronutrient formulations like Sampoorna for rice.

Starting in 2020, startups mentored by KAU began spraying with drones various crops, including rice, using procedures standardized by the University, in accordance with guidelines issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The state’s KVKs also conducted on-farm trials (OFT) and frontline drone demonstrations. Drone spraying of Sampoorna micronutrients resulted in a 20-22% increase in yield.












The rice bug population in Palakkad has been reduced by 80% thanks to drone spraying of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana.

According to trials, drones can complete the spraying operation 24 times faster than manual work. Drones were used to spray nearly 16,580 acres of paddy with biological control agents and water-soluble fertilizers. KAU also used drones to help manage outbreaks of bacterial leaf blight in rice in Thrissur last year.

The funding will enhance the research and extension capabilities of Kerala Agricultural University in the field of drones, according to Vice Chancellor R. Chandra Babu.












The funds will be used to expand drone trials to crops such as pineapple, banana, ginger, turmeric and tapioca. KAU scientists will also use drones for crop tracking and monitoring to boost precision farming, he added.











First published: June 28, 2022, 08:25 IST



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