Agri Business

Unnati starts drone spray services in Uttar Pradesh for mango, sugarcane

Our Bureau | | Updated on: May 19, 2022

Khammam, Telangana, 06/10/2020: Venkateshwara Rao, a progressive farmer of Siripuram village in Wyra mandal, an agricultural graduate, tries to tap drone technology to check multiple pest attacks on crops. He uses a drone exclusively designed for pest spraying, devoid of cameras, to protect his paddy crop in ten acres from BPH pest attack. The trend of using drones to combat pests appears to be gradually catching up in some villages of Khammam division, bordering Andhra Pradesh. In Peddagopathi Village in Khammam district on October 06, 2020. Photo: G.N.Rao / The Hindu | Photo Credit: RAO GN

Plans to launch in Maharashtra soon

Unnati, a fintech-driven agriculture ecosystem, has launched a drone spray service for farmers. The company has partnered with local drone fleet owners to offer the spray service.

Farmers can avail the drone spray service by registering on Unnati platform. They can also book the drone spray service through some of the U-Stores, the partner retail stores that sell agri-inputs, which offer the spray service through knapsack sprayers.

“We have launched the drone spray service in Uttar Pradesh recently for crops such as mango and sugarcane and expect to cover some 10,000 acres this month,” said Amit Sinha, Co-Founder, Unnati. There’s a huge interest among the farmers to avail the drone spray services, Sinha said adding that the company also plans to launch it in Maharasthra soon.

Sinha said the cost of drone spray service varies between ₹650 and ₹1,100 per acre, depending on the crop, area, volume of spray among others. The drone spray cost excludes the cost of agrochemicals, Sinha said adding that farmers will have a final say on what brand of pesticide to be sprayed. “Going forward, we expect some of the U-Stores to have their own fleet of drones to offer the spray services,” Sinha added.

During the last financial year, Unnati has expanded its presence significantly reaching out to eight lakh farmers against three lakh in the previous year. The number of U-Store network has also grown significantly to 45,000 against 6,000 in the previous year. “Our GMV run-rate has also grown about four times to around Rs 600 crore during the year,” Sinha said.

Apart from selling inputs and providing market linkage to farmers for products like grains, onions and potatoes, Unnati is also helping them access credit through its platform. It has partnered with few NBFCs and banks to help farmers access credit.

Unnati operates in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Bihar and Rajasthan. Unnati is targeting a four-fold growth this year and eyeing revenue of ₹2,400-2,500 crore on run-rate basis as the company plans to expand its operations to Karnataka, Telangana, more locations in UP and Punjab by the year-end, Sinha said.

Published on May 19, 2022
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