Women drone pilots revolutionise agriculture practice in northern India

Women drone pilots revolutionise agriculture practice in northern India

A wave of transformation is being driven by the determined efforts of women in northern India’s Bihar. Leveraging advanced drone technology for modernising agricultural practices.

The incident took place at Muzaffarpur and the video went viral on May 23.

Visuals showed a vast field, and numerous female farmers were gathered, learning to operate drones. The scene is a blend of traditional and modern. The drones, sleek and modern, hover above the crops, releasing a fine mist of pesticides. The women’s faces show a mix of concentration and excitement, as they take turns piloting the drones, ensuring they can easily spray their fields.

Kajal Kumari, a mother of three from Mahima Gopinathpur panchayat in Muzaffarpur district, is one such pioneer. Her childhood dream of flying planes found a new avenue through a recent training program by Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University (RPCAU) at Pusa. Now, she navigates the skies with a drone, enhancing her farmland’s productivity by spraying fertilizers and pesticides.

Kajal is one of 43 women trained this year under the government-backed ‘Drone Didi’ program. This initiative aims to modernize Indian farming by reducing labor costs and conserving water amidst growing climate challenges. Since receiving her drone in March, Kajal has been earning between Rs 50,000 and 75,000 a month during crop seasons, spraying fungicide on ‘moong’ crops at Rs 400 to 500 per acre. She highlights the efficiency and eco-friendliness of drone spraying, which uses only 10 liters of water per acre compared to 200 liters needed for manual spraying.

Similarly, Punam Gupta from Bansgaon village in Uttar Pradesh now earns Rs 2000 daily by spraying pesticides in her village and neighboring areas. She proudly identifies as a pilot, a title that brings her immense satisfaction and economic independence.

RPCAU’s Vice-Chancellor P S Pandey praised these women as community change agents. “The deployment of drones has not only increased productivity but also brought socio-economic changes in rural areas. These empowered women are earning sustainable livelihoods and contributing to their villages’ development,” he remarked.

The success of these ‘Drone Didis’ marks a significant step towards modernizing agriculture and empowering women in rural India.

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