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With the rise in limitations for importing equipment, the Mechanization and Technology Division of the Department of Agricultural Co-operation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) led the initiative for developing indigenous vehicle mounted ULV (Ultra Low Volume) Sprayer for Locust Control. The indigenously developed prototype had completed the trials successfully. Trials were conducted at Ajmer and Bikaner districts of Rajasthan.
To date, the United Kingdom-based firm-Micron Sprayers was the sole supplier of vehicle-mounted sprayers to India. Out of the 60 such spray equipment last ordered in February 2020 from the supplier, 15 has been delivered to date.
Demerit of Vehicle Mounted Sprayer
One demerit of the vehicle-mounted sprayer is that it can spray to a maximum height of between 25 to 30 feet as a result of which its use is limited, can’t be used for tall trees, and inaccessible areas.
Necessity for Aerial Spray
Citing the limitations of the vehicle-mounted sprayer, the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has impaneled two firms for providing a spray of pesticides with the help of drones. Further, an Empowered Committee was constituted for the procurement of the goods and services required for the aerial spray of pesticides.
This Committee recommended 5 companies for the work order engagement of Drones. Each of the 5 companies has been issued 5 drones each. In a phased manner, 12 drones have been already deployed at 5 districts of Rajasthan to date.
India became the first country in the world that is using Drones for controlling desert locust, this effort made by India was appreciated by the specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for improving food security and nutrition by defeating hunger across the world-the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).