Tamil Nadu

Farmers in Erode district encouraged to use drones to spray pesticides on jasmine fields

A drone involved in spraying pesticide at a jasmine field in Sathyamangalam in Erode district in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.

A drone involved in spraying pesticide at a jasmine field in Sathyamangalam in Erode district in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Jasmine farmers in Sathyamangalam, Erode district, are being encouraged to use drones to spray pesticides over their fields, as this is both effective and reduces costs.

A team of professors and students from the Bannari Amman Institute of Technology in Sathyamangalam conducted a field study to spray insecticides/fertilizers in jasmine fields using drone technology. The team conducted several field trials, before finalising a standard operating procedure as well as the insecticide/water ratio needed for jasmine fields. The study reveals that the usage of drones in agri-fields is advantageous in the localized application of insecticides on jasmine leaves. Drone spraying solves the labour issue and reduces both the cost and time taken, compared to manual spraying.

The drones used for the trial run had 10 litre-capacities and could fly continuously for half an hour.

Krishnamoorthy, a farmer of Ramapailur village, said that small farmers who possess a few acres have been affected by labour shortage and the huge cost involved in manual spraying. “The amount of insecticide used through drone spraying is reduced 300ml/acre compared to the 750 ml/acre in manual spraying,” he said.

The Institute’s team members said that the new technology could be extended and optimized specially for sugarcane, coconut and areca nut plantations. They also said that by developing such standard operating procedures for specific plantations, agri-drones will be a helping hand for farmers in addressing the labour shortage and time issues. In addition, the health of the farmers is often affected by inhaling the toxic fertilizers during manual spraying, whereas such issues can be eliminated by the usage of agri-drone spraying. These drones will also be an effective business idea for entrepreneurs and budding engineers, they added.


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Printable version | May 14, 2022 7:33:39 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/farmers-in-erode-district-encouraged-to-use-drones-to-spray-pesticides-on-jasmine-fields/article65183014.ece