Drone Technology Demonstration for banana cultivation: Awareness Programmes by ICAR – NRCB
9th January 2023, Thirukurungudi and 31st January 2023, Varadarajapuram
Kalakkad block in Tirunelveli district is known for banana cultivation in Tamil Nadu. Sudden outbreak of leaf spot disease created a major concern for farmers.
ICAR-National Research Centre for Banana, Tiruchirappalli organised an awareness programme for the farmers at Thirukurungudi, Kalakkad block on 9th January. The farmers were apprised of the measures to be taken by the farmers to manage the leaf spot disease in bananas. A demonstration was also arranged at the village about fungicide application through drone technology. An affected area, of about 25 acres was covered for fungicide application through drone technology.
Dr. R. Selvarajan, Director ICAR-NRCB underlined that around 2400 ha have been affected in the Kalakkad area which may cause an economic loss of 5 crores approximately. He exhorted that the loss can be reduced by following the proper management practices and expenditure of 15 lakhs rupees for undertaking the massive fungicide spray by drone technology.
An awareness campaign was also conducted at Varadarajapuram near Thottiyam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamilnadu in collaboration with Thottiyam Banana Producers Group on 31st January 2023 about the use of drone technology for Micro Nutrient (Banana Shakti) application in banana cultivation.
Dr. R. Selvarajan, Director, ICAR - NRCB mentioned that micro nutrient application for banana cultivation is vital for enhancing the yield and it also improves the intake of other macronutrients like N, P and K. Further, he added that in the labour scarcity scenario, application of inputs like pesticides and micronutrients through drone technology will not only reduce the cost of cultivation but also improves the profit of the farmers.
Dr. C. Karpagam, Principal Investigator, Drone project, underlined the project’s objective.
At Thottiyam, 35 acres of banana fields were covered under micro-nutrient application through drone technology.
These two demonstrations viz., the use of drones in banana disease and micronutrient management was part of the Agri drone technology demonstration project under Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
FPO members from the Sri Rangam Banana Producer Group, the Sirugamani farmers group and the Anamalai farmers group participated in the programme.
Banana farmers from Thottiyam, Agricultural students from Nalanda Agriculture College and Anbil Dharmalingam College also participated in the programme.
(Source: organised ICAR-National Research Centre for Banana, Tiruchirappalli)