Drone technology is becoming more and more popular, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) research report on digital innovations in India's agriculture sector.
Land mapping and pesticide spraying are the two most common uses for drones in Indian agriculture, the report said. It claimed that seeding, crop yield assessment and drone-based analytics have huge potential.
The report, which was released in October 2022 in collaboration with the Adani Group, also indicated the possibility for agrochemical spraying to be employed actively. Drone-based agrochemical spraying can reduce input costs by 25–90 percent, reduce skin exposure by 90 percent, and increase crop output.
It is also said that a transition is necessary in the Indian agriculture sector since the country must feed a growing population while addressing issues like climate change, geopolitical unrest, and depleted natural resources.
The report from the international non-governmental and lobbying organisation also showed how the Indian agricultural sector has been plagued by long-term issues like poor yield, declining soil health, a lack of irrigation, inefficient input use, a lack of post-harvest management structures, and limited access to formal financial services.
The research report noted that drone adoption currently is still in its infancy and is primarily carried out by corporate farming organisations or large farmers.
It is expected, the report highlighted, that the drone and drone components industry will attract $50 billion of investment in the next few years. This flow of funds will be helpful to unlock the potential of the drone sector and make them ubiquitous for Indian agriculture, it added.
Skill development and digital finance will be foundational building blocks for the industry – creating new livelihoods and spurring entrepreneurship.