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Drone Scheme for Women SHGs in Agriculture Sector

Drone Scheme for Women SHGs in Agriculture Sector


In 2024, the Indian agriculture sector stands at the cusp of transformative growth, with projections estimating its value at USD 372.94 billion and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5% from 2024 to 2032. A primary livelihood source for approximately 58% of India's population, the sector holds global prominence as the largest producer of milk, pulses, and spices. Amidst this, thе government's proactive stance is еvidеnt through initiativеs likе thе "Dronе Schеmе for Womеn SHGs in Agriculture Sector." Launched to empower rural women, this scheme equips 15,000 Womеn Sеlf Hеlp Groups (WSHGs) with dronеs, enabling thеm to provide еssеntial agricultural sеrvicеs such as pesticides spraying and fеrtilizеr application. By fostеring tеchnological inclusion and womеn's participation, this initiativе not only modеrnizеs farming practicеs but also drivеs socio-еconomic еmpowеrmеnt in rural India.

Agriculture Drone Programs in India

The Government of India supports drone agriculture through the National Agricultural Drone Mission (NADM). The NADM provides subsidies for drone purchases and training for farmers on how to use them. The Union Cabinet also approved the NAMO Drone Didis scheme for the period from 2024-25 to 2025-26 with an outlay of Rs. 1261 Crores. 

The scheme's objectives include:

  • Promoting advanced technology in agriculture to improve efficiency and crop yield, and reduce operating costs
  • Empowering women self-help groups (SHGs) as drone service providers
  • Providing business opportunities for women SHGs to increase their income
  • Increasing opportunities for rural employment and financial inclusion 

Agriculture Drone Programs

The Indian government has implemented programs to promote the use of drones in agriculture, including subsidies and contingency funds. Some companies in India offer drones for agricultural purposes, such as crop spraying, mapping, and surveillance.


The government offered a 100% subsidy or ₹10 lakhs, whichever was less, to institutes and universities until March 2023.

Contingency funds

A contingency fund of ₹6000 per hectare was established for hiring drones from Custom Hiring Centers (CHC).


Agriculture drones are DGCA compliant and have a 10L tank capacity. They are equipped with GPS enabled sensors for precise spraying. 

Benefits of drones in agriculture:

  • Crop monitoring: Drones can provide real-time data about fields, allowing farmers to monitor crops from home and make timely decisions. This can help maximize crop yields by adjusting nutrient application and scheduling harvests.
  • Irrigation: Drones with thermal cameras can help farmers identify issues with irrigation, such as areas with too much or too little moisture.
  • Livestock tracking: Drones can be used to track and locate lost livestock, and can also help farmers survey their livestock without having to physically check on them.
  • Farmland surveillance: Drones can help farmers tighten surveillance of their farmland, which can be challenging due to its vast size.
  • Planting: Drones can provide 3D field maps with soil analysis to help farmers create planting schemes and make decisions at the beginning of the crop cycle.
  • Pesticides and insecticides: Drones can help farmers spray the right amount of pesticides at the right time, and can also be used to spray insecticides on locusts without harming crops or livestock. This can help reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and save money in the long term.
  • Other tasks: Drones can also be used for mass sowing and planting, and to reduce labor usage by eliminating manual surveillance. 

Drone Scheme for Women SHGs

The "Drone Scheme for Women SHGs" approved by the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi aims to empower women Self Help Groups (SHGs) and bring new technologies through drone services in the agriculture sector.

Scheme Overview:

  • The scheme has an outlay of Rs. 1,261 crore for the period from 2024-25 to 2025-26.
  • It aims to provide drones to 15,000 selected Women SHGs during the period 2023-24 to 2025-2026 for providing rental services to farmers for agricultural purposes.

Empowerment of Women SHGs:

The scheme seeks to empower women Self Help Groups (SHGs) and enable them to provide rental services to farmers using drones for agriculture purposes, such as the application of fertilizers and pesticides.

Technology Integration:

  • Use of UAVs (drones) for various agricultural purposes.
  • Implementation of sensors sensitive to different bands of electromagnetic waves for precision agriculture.
  • Adoption of recent policy initiatives by the Indian government to promote and popularize drone use in agriculture.

The approved scheme by the Union Cabinet and its objectives to support women SHGs and introduce drone technology in agriculture.

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