A farmer from Haryana India who has customised drones that can spray pesticides on crops from the sky. The drone can carry a 35-kg load, eliminating the need for farmers and farm-hands to carry pesticides in containers on theirs backs and spray it by hand, exposing themselves to the harsh and often poisonous chemicals. The drone idea belongs to Ashwani Sihag of Phullan village in Fatehabad district of Haryana.
An aerial view of Phullan village captured using a camera fitted on Sihag’s drone
Sihag, whose father is a retired IT expert of the Indian Air Force, owns about 40 acres of farmland in Phullan. He says he learned how to operate drones from YouTube videos. “If drones can be used to deliver pizzas, why not use them to deliver pesticides!” he says.
“If drones can be used to deliver pizzas, why not use them to deliver pesticides!” says Ashwani Sihag (centre).
He hasn’t given his souped-up drone a name so far. It can fly up to the height of 8 km, race at a speed of 60 km per hour for up to 30 km during a single sortie. “I imported equipment from China and USA. I spent over Rs 5 lakh getting the drone parts. Then, at the beginning of this year, I was ready to go,” says Sihag with a smile. He claims to have developed the communication system of the drone on his own and also the frame, which is 1 meter long. It took Sihag a year to come up with a first prototype, but that could only be used to sprinkle water on vegetable crops with the help of a remote control.
Once he demonstrated his drone’s capabilities to the farmers of his village, he became an instant sensation in Phullan and neighbouring villages. Farmers started flocking to his farm to witness his drone take to the air and do its work.
“There are many farmers I know who have complained of uneasiness, dizziness and other health complications brought on by spraying pesticides. The cloth mask doesn’t help,” says Sihag.
“How much ever we cover our heads and faces, there is no foolproof method to avoid inhaling the poisonous pesticide,” says Dalip Singh, a farmer from Phullan. “It can lead to medical emergencies, forcing us to take the pesticide-hit to a hospital.”
Another farmer, Rajesh Kumar, says he had to be hospitalised of pesticide-poisoning because he was spraying it the “old way”. Now, he intends to do it with Sihag’s drone.
Sihag says he has received several queries from farmers asking about the cost of the drone. A few have placed orders for the drone as well.
Sihag put the drone together himself using parts imported from the US and China.
Utility for army
This is not the first drone Sihag has made. He had earlier sent a prototype to the Indian Army. He says he knows the problems the Army faces, especially when it comes to sending rations or medical kits to remote locations.
He says his drone can race to places affected by landslides or natural calamities and deliver emergency material required for people trapped at such locations. The Army is yet to respond.
Intelligent Agriculture is the trend of all over the world. And the intelligent drone act as a important role in this world plan.
Agriculture spraying drone can replace the traditional pesticide sprayer and it's speed is 40times of the traditional sprayer. It will save 90% water and 30%-40% pesticide. Small droplet diameter make the pesticide more well-distribute and improve the effect. At the same time, it will make the people faraway from the pesticide and reduce the pesticide remain of the crop.
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