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Kerala to offer financial assistance to farmers for using drones

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Kerala is going to give a major push for drone technology in farming with the state government deciding to offer financial assistance to farmers to use drones . A high-level meeting of the state government has decided to offer financial support to farmers for purchasing drones for various farming uses.

“As drone technology is being heavily used in farming, the government has decided to come out with a special scheme to offer financial support to farmers to buy and use drones. The drone technology will help farmers save time and manpower,” said a senior agricultural officer.

The scheme is aimed to make drone technology affordable to the farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector in the state. As per an official statement, monetary assistance for the purchase of  drones will be provided under Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) to  Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs). “The selected FPOs will receive 75 per cent of the cost or Rs 7.50 lakh, whichever is less. The remaining amount should be spent by the FPOs as beneficiary shares. An amount of Rs 3,000 per hectare will also be given for ancillary expenses to promote and introduce the uses of drones in agriculture,” the statement said adding that FPOs must obtain training and licensing at their own expense.

The selected FPOs must submit a contractual agreement to the Director of Agriculture Development and Farmers Welfare Department containing the terms and conditions for operation and maintenance of drones.

The application form is available at keralaagriculture.gov.in and ATMA Project Director Office and Office of Agriculture Assistant Executive Engineer in the districts. Applications along with attested copies of documents should be sent to: The State Agricultural Engineer, Directorate of Agricultural Development and Farmers Welfare Department, Vikas Bhavan. P.O., Thiruvananthapuram- 695033 or saekerala@gmail.com before 5 pm on March 8. For details contact: 0471-2306748

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