When a new technology enters the fray, it is expensive, according to Smit Shah, president of the Drone Federation of India. Like in the past, the government has stepped in to subsidise it, he said.

The government offers up to 100% subsidy on drones worth Rs 10 lakh or below to organisations such as the Indian Council of Agricultural Research institutes, Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institutes, Krishi Vigyan Kendra extension centres, and state agricultural universities.

“For mass proliferation, drones have to be provided as a service, not a product,” Shah said. Since private firms won’t get subsidies, he said the onus is on government or farmer-led organisations to “lead the charge”.

Private companies including Garuda Aerospace Pvt., Gurugram-based IoTech World Avigation Pvt., Paras Defence and Space Ltd.’s aerospace arm and Indore-based Skylane are already building a service-based model.

Agnishwar Jayaprakash, founder and CEO at Garuda, calls it an Uber for farm…


Source: www.bloombergquint.com