Syngenta India Pvt. Ltd. (SIPL) has entered into a partnership with IoTechWorld Avigation for the introduction of drone spraying in the agriculture sector across the country.
Under this agreement, both will work on creating employment opportunities for rural youth by training and preparing them for using drones on farmlands.
The companies have agreed, through a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU), to promote the spraying of Syngenta-approved chemicals using the drone technology of IoTechWorld in different territories of India.
“In the first phase, 200 rural youth will be trained and employed for spraying. Large-scale trials over 400 acres were conducted and data was submitted to regulators for 20 crops,” said Susheel Kumar, MD and Country Head, Syngenta India.
First to get Centre’s nod
IoTech’s drone, Agribot, will be used across all of Syngenta’s spray services and products. Syngenta and IoTech will work together to encourage 200 agri-entrepreneurs and village-level entrepreneurs developed by Syngenta Foundation India to partner in this project.
Syngenta is the first private company to get approval from the Central Insecticides Board and the government to use drones for spraying its product Amistar on paddy to protect the crop against fungal infections such as blast and sheath blight.
Syngenta organised a unique Drone Yatra last year covering 17,000 km across 13 States and reaching out to 15,000 farmers holding demonstrations on drone spraying, said Sachin Kamra, Head, Farmer Centric Ecosystem, Syngenta India Pvt Ltd.
“Along with Syngenta, we want to help farmers get the best utilisation and results from plant protection chemicals, save cost, and get better output. We also want to contribute to generating employment in rural areas by developing agri-entrepreneurs,” said Deepak Bhardwaj, Director, IoTechWorld Avigation.
IoTech will provide drone pilot training and help interested individuals obtain a pilot license, support Syngenta in drone fleet management, and promote spray services, he said.
Promoting in educational institutions
Syngenta Foundation India will identify suitable agri entrepreneurs and facilitate drone pilot training. This will help in providing additional income-generating opportunities, said Rajendra Jog, Country Director, Syngenta Foundation India.
Syngenta will also work closely with IoTech to promote drone spray technology in all educational and promotional campaigns and to support the deployment of at least 2,000 drones under the micro- and village-level agri-entrepreneur programme.
Syngenta works closely with Syngenta Foundation India (SFI) in training agri entrepreneurs who provide multiple agri and allied services to farmers. Under this programme, village youth are identified, trained, and certified by the National Institute of Agriculture Marketing and mentored to build businesses that increase smallholder farmer incomes and efficiency while reducing carbon footprint through better and cheaper inputs, access to markets, credit, and insurance.