PJTSAU to make farming future-ready

Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU), which has already been tasked to prepare training programmes for farmers to be imparted through Rythu Vedikas, is planning to get the manpower ready for operating drones to be used plant protection measures by introducing a short-term certificate course in this regard.

The university administration is in talks with the GMR Aviation Academy and is planning enter into a memorandum of understating with the latter for introducing the certificate course in the university. Practical training classes as part of the certificate course are likely to be handled provided by the academy with the help of simulators.

“In tune with the State government’s plans to promote mechanisation in farming along with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) not only to overcome the increasing shortage of labour but also to improve the quality of the produce, we have decided to develop framework for drone application in agriculture and demystify the technology with valid scientific backing,” university Vice-Chancellor V. Praveen Rao told The Hindu .

Keeping in view the keen interest evinced by the State government in employing drones in agriculture, particularly in the plant protection measures including detection of pest and insect attacks and remedial measures such as spraying of pesticides, the university has been working in the area for the last couple of years.

“We have secured the approval from the Director General of Civil Aviation recently to intensify our research in use of drones in agriculture. In fact, PJTSAU is the first university in the country get such an approval,” the V-C stated.

The university has already completed aerial mapping, delineation and digitisation of boundaries of the PJTSAU main campus, agricultural research stations (ARS) and krishi vigyan kendras (KVKs), used drones to spray fluid requirements on rice crop at the Rice Research Centre on the main campus and evaluated performance of drones vis-a-vis traditional spraying operations on management of safflower at ARS Tandur, Mr. Praveen Rao explained.

Besides, the university has signed a MoU with MIT Anna University to take forward advances in drone technology for the benefit of farmers and stakeholders in Telangana. “Requirement of manpower to handle drones used for plant protection activities would be very high and our effort to introduce the course is to meet such a demand,” he said.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 12:33:28 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/pjtsau-to-make-farming-future-ready/article34239739.ece