Syngenta & IoTech join hands to deploy drones in agriculture by employing rural youth

The endeavor aims to deploy 2000 drones to train and develop rural youth for using drone technology. MoU has been signed for three years

New Delhi/Pune: In a significant move to accelerate large-scale use of drones in agriculture, Syngenta India Pvt Ltd (SIPL) has partnered with IoTechWorld Avigation for facilitating introduction of drone spraying across India. Under this agreement, the two companies will work on creating employment opportunities for rural youth by training and preparing them for using drone technology.
Both parties agree to work together to harness their strengths to promote spray of Syngenta approved chemicals using drone technology of IoTechWorld, in different territories of India. “In the first phase, 200 rural youth will be trained and employed for spraying. Large-scale trials over 400 acres were conducted and data submitted to regulators for 20 crops”, informed Susheel Kumar, MD & Country Head Syngenta India. IoTech’s drone Agribot is being used across all of Syngenta’s spray services and products.
Syngenta was the first private company to get approval from Central Insecticides Board, Government of India to use drones for spraying of its product Amistar on paddy to protect the crops against fungal infections, Blast & Sheath Blight. “Encouraged by this along with the policy push by Government of India and various state government, Syngenta organised a unique, first-of-its-kind Drone Yatra, under which a drone awareness van moved across 17,000 km in 13 states reaching out to 15, 000 farmers and giving them demos on drone spraying,” informed Sachin Kamra, Head, Farmer Centric Ecosystem, Syngenta India Pvt Ltd.
“We are revolutionizing the way spraying is done in India and helping rapid and advanced mechanization of Indian agriculture. Along with Syngenta, we want to help farmers in getting best utilization and results of plant protection chemicals, save cost, and get better output. We also want to contribute to generating employment in rural areas by developing agri-entrepreneurs,” said Deepak Bhardwaj, Director, IoTechWorld Avigation.
“Complementing the joint efforts of Syngenta India Pvt Ltd and IoTech, Syngenta Foundation India is engaged in identifying suitable Agri Entrepreneurs (AEs) and facilitating drone pilot training to them. This will help in providing additional income generating opportunity to our AEs. The Foundation will play a catalyst role in overall program and would continue to support this endeavour in future,” said Rajendra Jog, Country Director, Syngenta Foundation India.
Syngenta and IoTech will work together to encourage 200 agri-entrepreneurs and village-level entrepreneurs developed by Syngenta Foundation India to partner in this program. “IoTech shall provide drone pilot training and help obtain pilot license to interested individuals, support Syngenta in Drone Fleet Management, as well as promote spray services using only approved Syngenta chemicals,” added Bhardwaj.
Syngenta will also be working closely with IoTech to promote the drone Spray technology in all educational and promotional campaigns, wherever required, as well as endeavor support in the deployment of minimum 2000 drones under the micro and village-level agri-entrepreneur program and train and develop rural youth.
Syngenta works closely with Syngenta Foundation India (SFI) in training Agri-Entrepreneurs (AEs), who provide multiple agri and allied services to farmers. Under this program village youth are identified, trained and certified by National Institute of Agriculture Marketing (NIAM) and mentored to build businesses that increase Smallholder Farmer (SHF) incomes, efficiency and reduce climate footprint through better and cheaper inputs, access to markets, credit, and insurance. The overall objective of this program is to develop and anchor self-sustainable AEs to provide agriculture services to smallholder farmers to fulfil the threefold purpose of generating rural employment, improving agricultural incomes and practices and furthering environmental sustainability. 10,911 AEs have been trained so far across India.