India’s agriculture ministry will hire private agencies for the second year for a pilot study of field data collection using drones in agricultural areas of 100 districts under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana crop insurance program.
As harvesting in the selected areas will be completed shortly, the ministry has requested the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to approve the operation of drones flying drones in the region.
The ministry uses drone-based images as one of the important inputs in the models for crop yield estimation and validation as well as crop damage valuations.
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More information about crop insurance and drones:
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Mr. Swain owns about half a hectare of farmland and cultivates another 1.2 hectares under a sharecropping contract. During the previous kharif, brown planthopper infestation caused major crop losses. Mr. Swain was not spared and a major portion of his crops had been damaged by the pest attack. He said that agriculture officers conducted a crop cutting experiment in the affected area and found that most of the farmers from their village faced major losses due to pest attack. Fortunately, he and some other farmers had a safety net to bail them out of distress by investing in crop insurance. Mr. Swain and other farmers who had availed of the insurance received payouts.
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