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Agriculture drones cleared for night missions

India is the first country in the world to utilise drones in anti-locust operations and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has lauded the agriculture department’s work in fighting locusts using the latest technology.

By Alnoor Peermohamed, ET Bureau |Updated: June 30, 2020, 08.06AM IST
BENGALURU: India’s aviation regulator has approved the agriculture ministry’s request to operate drones at night and use engine-powered drones instead of battery-operated ones, to combat the spread of desert locusts in the western and central states. ET reported on Monday that the agriculture ministry had sought approvals for night-time operation of drones as locusts were most inactive after sunset,
made the nodal agency for using drones in anti-locust operations. According to the latest order, the agriculture department can use drones with payloads of up to 50 kg from the earlier limit of 25 kg. These engine-powered drones will have three times the flight time and will be able to carry 60% more pesticides than those currently in use.

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