NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Civil Aviation has allowed drone deployment by the agriculture ministry for remote sensing data collection in 100 districts of the country, for gram panchayat level yield estimation, under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
Earlier, the agriculture ministry had sought nod for allowing short-listed private agencies to operate drones to capture images of rice fields in these districts to assess crop yields.
A government official said drone-based images are important inputs in the models for crop yield estimation and validation.
Remote sensing data captured through drones will help get accurate information on crop conditions and losses to farmers, and shorten the time for crop insurance claims.
Getting right information is important at the right time in order to make accurate decisions. Drone data helps insurance companies and agents to ensure that a farmer gets help in time when in need.
As per the aviation regulator, the exemption will be valid for one year from the date of issue of the permission letter, or until the Digital Sky Platform is operational, whichever is earlier.
The agriculture ministry will have to obtain clearances from local administration, Ministry of Defence and Home Affairs and others concerned.