Drone revolution in agri sector 

 Fuselage Innovations, an agritech startup based at Maker Village, will implement precision farming solution at its tea estates

Published: 08th October 2021 06:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th October 2021 06:52 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: The drone revolution is here to stay and is making a foray into every sector. Drones have found application in the agriculture sector and now in the plantation sector, with Harrisons Malayalam Limited (HML) becoming the first in the country to introduce drone technology in its tea estates. The company has partnered with Fuselage Innovations, an agritech startup based at Maker Village, to implement the precision farming solution at its tea estates.

“Though the land under cultivation in Kerala is less compared to other states, the state has been doing very well. However, following the consecutive floods that ravaged the state two years ago, the nutrient content of the soil went down leading to a drop in yield,” said Devan Chandrasekaran, founder and managing director of Fuselage Innovations.

“UNDP had in association with Kerala Startup Mission and Haritha Kerala Mission had launched Green Innovation Fund accelerator. We were also looking for funds to make drones, and we received a grant for that, but we have to implement it in tribal areas. UNDP India had zeroed in on some panchayats in Munnar for the purpose,” said Devan. Fuselage then approached Harrison Malayalam Limited who were also looking for solutions to overcome labour shortage in their tea estate when it comes to carrying out nutrient application.

According to Devan, the drones will scan the plants and identify nutrient deficiencies before applying the compound to boost growth. Initially, after talks with HML, the startup carried out research on five hectares of HML’s tea estate.

“Our method was found to be viable and the estate also saw an increase of over 23 per cent in yield,” said Devan. According to the HML official, following the success of the initial trials, the estate has allotted another 45 hectares for the second level trial to the startup. HML is planning to research with UAV based precision farming from Fuselage Innovations.


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