Agri solutions company Coromandel International Ltd, an arm of the Murugappa Group, has invested ₹200 million into a differentiated drone start-up, Dhaksha Unmanned Systems Pvt Ltd. The investment was made through Coromandel’s venture capital arm, Dare Ventures.

Quoting Arun Alagappan, Executive Vice Chairman, Coromandel International Ltd, a company statement said, “As part of Coromandel’s technology focus, we are closely partnering with the start-up ecosystem and strengthening our presence in the agtech space. Our investment in Daksha reflects this endeavour and gives us a strong position in the unmanned aerial systems technology solutions area.”

Driving precision farming

“With a focus on resource use efficiency, the drone adoption in agriculture holds significant potential to improve agri inputs effectiveness, reduce water usage, boost farm mechanisation and drive precision agriculture practices. There has also been good support from the government to improve its adoption in agriculture in terms of policy and regulatory support. At Coromandel, we will continue to promote such technologies that can drive productivity gains and sustainable agricultural practices in the Indian farms.”

It said the Indian government has been encouraging the use of drone technology for agriculture applications like liquid/nano fertilisers and crop protection chemicals. The government released SOPs (standard operating procedures) in December 2021 for drone regulation for pesticide application. These covered important aspects like statutory provisions, flying permissions, area distance restrictions, weight classification, overcrowded areas restriction, drone registration, safety insurance, piloting certification, operation plan, air flight zones and weather conditions, it said.