Farming solutions: Revolutionary agro-drones spray fertilizer in Chinchinim fields
Don Bosco’s Father George Quadros says this technology is dedicated to farmers with the aim of promoting “precision agriculture”; Agriculture Director Praises Father Quadros For Once Again Introducing Breakthrough Technology For Farmers
MARGAO: In a big step towards using technology to find solutions for farmers in the state, Agri-Drones for spraying fertilizer or herbicides were launched in Chinchinim on Monday.
Don Bosco Goa in collaboration with the Chinchinim Agricultural Club unveiled the Agri-Drones at Diguam Bandh.
As the State Department of Agriculture supports the initiatives of the Chinchinim Agricultural Club, Director of Agriculture Nevil Alphonso has praised Don Bosco’s Father George Quadros for once again introducing breakthrough technology to farmers in Goa .
Recalling that it was Father Quadros who was the first to introduce transplanting machines in Goa, Alphonso said others have followed suit and the state government has also supported such efforts.
Addressing the gathering, Alphonso praised the Agri-Drone technology and how it can benefit farmers. He also talked about another technology Father Quadros launched at Monday’s ceremony – an affordable nano-urea spray in bottles that is now an alternative to buying large amounts of urea in bags.
Earlier in the day, the launch of the Agri-drones was carried out by Fr Felix Fernandes, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Panjim who prayed for the well-being of the farmers.
Explaining the benefits of the drone, Fr Quadros pointed out that it is not just for Don Bosco but the technology is dedicated to farmers in Goa with the aim of promoting “precision agriculture”. He also sought to allay apprehensions regarding drone operations and added that they are safe, environmentally friendly and carried out following rules set by the state government and after obtaining permission from the police.
Drones fly over fields and spray micro-droplets that do not penetrate the soil but remain at surface level and on crop leaves.
Each drone was purchased for Rs 10.30 lakh, Don Bosco has two registered pilots who have completed the paid training program required to fly a drone which will have a carrying capacity of 10 liters.
Father Quadros said the liquid fertilizer or herbicide is what makes the difference and the drone is not only accurate but also very effective, helping farmers save time. Drones are available for hire for 60 paisa per square meter but Don Bosco subsidizes 30% of this cost. The drones are also equipped with an anti-collision device and have features to handle any issues during flight and the height from which the plants are sprayed can be adjusted. When charged, the drones can fly for 20 minutes, can range up to 30 meters, and cover a distance of one kilometer from the controller.
Agnelo Furtado, President of Chinchinim Comunidade, expressed his gratitude to those who helped local farmers, including the Department of Agriculture, Don Bosco, Velim MLA Cruz Silva, etc.
Furtado pointed out that these lands lay fallow for three decades until the recent agricultural revival initiatives supported by Father Quadros.
He said that the plowing and fencing of fields as well as the use of transplanting machines have been done with government subsidies and mechanized farming has reduced the cost of farming considerably, which is a huge relief. for farmers.
He hopes Chinchinim’s success story can be replicated in other parts of Goa as well.
Senior government officials were also present.