FAO lauds India’s successful use of drones to combat desert locusts
India conducts successful trials of vehicle mounted ULV sprayer for locust control.
Under the Make in India initiative, the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers’ Welfare (DAC&FW) is indigenously developing a vehicle mounted Ultra Low Volume, ULV sprayer for locust control.
The Mechanization and Technology Division of DAC&FW got a prototype of the sprayer developed through an Indian manufacturer and its trials have been successfully conducted in Ajmer and Bikaner districts of Rajasthan.
This significant achievement will end the dependence of importing equipment for locust control. Deficiencies of vehicle mounted sprayers with height and not reaching inaccessible areas prompted the exploration of aerial spraying methods.
Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar also initiated the use of drones for Locust control. After conditional exemption was given by Ministry of Civil Aviation, MoCA to the use of drones with payload of pesticides and initial trials in Jaipur, Rajasthan and Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh, five drone service providers have been engaged to work at Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Nagore and Phalodi (Jodhpur) districts of Rajasthan with 12 drones deployed till date.
India has been lauded by the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO of the United Nations as the first country in the world to use drones to combat desert locusts.