The Agriculture Ministry has extended the interim approval granted for the already approved use of pesticide formulations through drones for another year till April 18, 2025. The latest move would provide a boost to the application of agrochemicals through the drones, industry sources said.

The Ministry, on April 18, 2022, had released a memorandum listing the interim-approved pesticides to be used for spraying by drones for a period two years.

The registered pesticide formulations comprising of insecticides, fungicides and plant growth regulators (PGRs) (including bio-pesticides and botanical pesticides) which otherwise are permitted to be sprayed manually by knapsack sprayers in India have been provisionally approved for commercial use through drones.

The crop protection industry has been seeking an extension of the approval so that, the ongoing impetus to the use of drones in agriculture shall continue. The Government has been promoting the use of drone technology in agriculture.

Welcoming the Ministry’s latest move, Durgesh Chandra, Secretary General, CropLife India said that this will go a long way in boosting the agrochemical infrastructure and specially provide a boost to the Drone Didi scheme. “The drone technology helps in immense water savings along with being a step towards precision agriculture,” he added. CropLife India, the agrochemical industry body, has been advocating the need for fast-tracking drones’ application for spraying of agrochemicals since the year 2019.