Drones in Indian Agriculture

The impact of Technology in agriculture is a positive trend, as it is the solution to feed the teeming population. Food security is a question that needs to be addressed, in the background of environmental degradation, pollution, and water scarcity, and an effective solution is a high priority. This is where usage of Drone can guarantee a sustainable solution.  

Drones in agriculture can ignite a big change in improving the efficiency of agriculture. Drones are alternative to lack of skilled human resources and also to other heavy machines and tools. To a very good extent, it is a cheap and economical way to manage farming. 

There are several types of drones say, Crop Spraying Drones, NVDI Drones, Seeding Drones, Surveillance Drones for agriculture purpose. These drones are fully automated and can help in improving productivity. 

Drones can be used in Agriculture in India but there are several drone laws that needed to be followed, which keeps on changing. The Director General of Civil Aviation has finally announced its policy for remotely piloted aircraft or drones. Set to come into effect from December 1, 2018, the new policy defines what will be classified as remotely piloted aircraft, how they can be flown and the restrictions they will have to operate under.

General India Drone Laws


  • Do not fly your drone over densely populated areas or large crowds.

  • Respect others privacy when flying your drone

  • Do not fly your drone within 5km of airports or in areas where aircraft are operating

  • Hurdles before drones in agri-tech take off. 

  • You must fly during daylight hours and only fly in good weather conditions

  • Do not fly your drone in sensitive areas including government or military facilities. Use of drones or camera drones in these areas are prohibited

  • You must be at least 18 years old and have completed a training course.

  • All drones must be equipped with a license plate identifying the operator, and how to contact them.

  • You must only fly your drone within visual line of sight.

  • You cannot fly more than one UAV at a time.

  • Do not fly your drone within 50km of a border.

  • Do not fly your drone more than 500 meters into the sea, from the coastline.

  • Do not fly within 5km of Vijay Chowk in Delhi

  • Do not fly over national parks or wildlife sanctuaries

  • All drones must have liability insurance

The operators have to ensure that they must follow basic drone laws when flying a drone over 250 grams weight. The basic criteria for operating drone is that it has to be done only in daytime. Besides this legal question there are practical problems like skill to use a drone for spraying fertilisers, then the fragmented nature of farms.