The DGCA has authorised Acharya NG Ranga Agriculture University (ANGRAU) to offer training in the use of drones for agriculture and other traditional uses.
By the end of November, Acharya NG Ranga Agriculture University (ANGRAU) will launch a 12-day drone technology course that is a first for the nation. The institute will also provide a five-day training on using traditional drones for land surveying. The five-day training is open to students who have passed their Class X examinations, while the 12-day programme is available to those who have passed their intermediate exams.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approved the courses, which are available for Rs 25,000 (for 5 days) and Rs 45,000 (for 12 days). The 12-day course’s curriculum was developed by AP Sensors and Smart Applications Research in Agriculture (APSARA), which was founded in 2020 at Lam Farms in the University.
According to Vice-Chancellor Dr. A. Vishnuvardhan Reddy, the University has got the DGCA’s approval to run these training programmes till 2032. DGCA Director Dr. Jitender Loura visited APSARA at ANGRAU and examined the facilities needed to establish a training centre and confirmed the curriculum created by the Center for pilot training of remote aircraft in agriculture. Dr. A Sambaiah, a pilot trainer, and Dr. P Maheshwar Reddy, a trainer for remote pilot aircraft systems, both underwent testing.
“Agricultural drones can be used to spray herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and foliar nutrients in cool, paddy, cotton, sugarcane, black gram, maize, jowar, red gram, Bengal gram, groundnut and other crops. The university has conducted trials in the farms of the university and carried out crop-specific standard operating procedures for ten major crops grown in Andhra Pradesh.”
–A. Sambaiah, APSARA’s Principal Researcher and Senior Scientist
According to a proposal by CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, drones will be made available to farmers by the state government. A drone supply to each Rythu Bharosa Kendra (RBK) throughout the state has already been ordered. Every RBK in the state was to receive at least one drone, per the CM’s request.
Tractors, harvesters, and cultivators were maintained at hiring centres established by the state government and connected to the RBKs so that farmers could rent them. The farmers were given permission to rent these machines out and pay the rent.
The state administration has chosen to deliver drones to farmers starting with the upcoming Kharif season, and it has plans to do so by hiring qualified drone pilots.
As a result, the government gave the ANGRAU permission to train drone pilots prior to the government making the machines available to farmers.
“It was a coincidence that the DGCA had given permission to the ANGRAU to start the drone pilot training centre at the university campus in Guntur. This would provide employment to many unemployed youths in the state.”
–M V S Nagi Reddy, Vice-chairman of the AP Agriculture Mission.
“Pre-trained remote pilot operators will receive certificates. The theme of launching the project is to provide employment to rural youth and train the farmers themselves in the technology.”
–The APSARA Researchers