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To Assess Agricultural Land and Crops, Karnataka to Use Drones

BENGALURU: As the state government turns to technology to estimate crop damage due to deficit rainfall in a quick, standardized and objective manner, soon there will be drones flying over the fields of North Karnataka.

Agriculture minister N H Shivashankar Reddy informed that, the department will be taking the assistance of drones for the first time to assess crop damage, although the previous Congress government had used the technology to survey agricultural lands in the state.

The minister said, “The present survey is not able to throw light on agricultural lands and crops grown on them. Several RTCs show there are no crops grown at all on them. Building on the current survey which has been commissioned, we will use drones and applications to assess the land and existing crops on them.”

Reddy said that per day, a single drone can assess about 1,000 acres of land. He also said, “And with this being the speed of assessment, we can cover the entire state’s agricultural lands in the next couple of months. This will help get the actual position of crops and land use.”

The minister said the government is also trying to replace water intensive trees like eucalyptus, and encourage people to replace them with bamboo. “We are looking to promote bamboo in a big way, considering the remuneration of approximately Rs 3.5lakh per hectare of bamboo within three years. The project will be taken up under the ‘bamboo mission’ of the central government,” he said.

The minister said that at present, sowing in Karnataka has achieved 66% coverage. Of the targeted 74.69 lakh hectares, sowing is complete on 49.47 lakh hectares, with another 21.04 lakh hectares expected to be sown in the next two months “For the remaining 8.07 lakh hectares, we are preparing contingency plans,” said Reddy.


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