Rent out drones at affordable cost to spray nano urea, Nagapattinam farmers urge State government

Farmers from the district requested the agriculture engineering department to buy and rent out drones at nominal prices for the convenient application of nano urea.

Published: 01st August 2022 03:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st August 2022 03:05 AM   |  A+A-

Drone. (File Photo)

Drone. (File Photo)

Express News Service

NAGAPATTINAM: Farmers from the district requested the agriculture engineering department to buy and rent out drones at nominal prices for the convenient application of nano urea. The agriculture department, ICAR-Krishi Vigyan Kendra, IFFCO, and other institutes have been promoting nano urea (liquid) fertiliser as an alternative to solid urea, which is said to be facing an acute shortage across the coastal delta districts.

They recommend its utilisation either through a human workforce or drones. Though the farmers consider the usage of drones impressive, they have been put off by its high rental cost. S Ramadoss, a farmer representative from Kilvelur, said, "It is difficult to rent drones, considering their high costs. We request the agriculture engineering department to take steps to purchase drones for each revenue village and rent them out to farmers, just the way they used to provide machines such as tractors, transplanters, and harvesters. The department can then rent them out at nominal prices." According to the farmers, a worker charges Rs 20 to spray a tank of nano urea.

Around 15 tanks are needed to cover an acre of land. Thus, the total charge would amount to about Rs 300. A drone with a ten-litre tank can cover an acre, and the operator would charge about Rs 500 for it.

The farmers, thus, find the drone-spraying method expensive. V Ramakrishnan, a farmer representative from Thirumarugal, said, "It is difficult to find drone operators who charge less for spraying. The farmers should also pitch in money even if the agriculture engineering department rents out drones."

Earlier, the farmers used to apply bags of solid urea weighing 45 kg worth Rs 270 each. Gradually, nano urea started to gain importance. A 500 ml bottle of nano urea costs about Rs 240. Officials and experts have to advise farmers to mix nano urea with water before spraying it on the paddy.

According to the agriculture department, nano urea is easy to use in the fields compared to solid forms of urea. Its application also gives an 8% increase in yield. More areas could be covered with the usage of drones. For instance, an acre could be covered in a short span of five minutes. Its usage also reduces the need for manual labour during labour shortages.

An official from the agriculture engineering department said, "We do understand that the rental price for drones is high due to various factors, including its maintenance charge. We have conveyed the request of farmers to buy and rent drones to the government."


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