The farmer leader condemned the Central Government's action against the protestors through para-military forces injuring hundreds.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a Central Sector Scheme for providing drones to Women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs), with an outlay of Rs 1261 crore for the period from 2024-25 to 2025-26.
The scheme aims to provide drones to 15,000 selected Women SHGs during the period from 2023-24 to 2025-2026 for providing rental services to farmers for agriculture purpose.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur told newspersons that, aligning to the vision of the Prime Minister, the scheme seeks to empower women Self Help Groups (SHGs), bringing new technologies through drone services in agriculture sector.
It is envisaged that the approved initiatives under the scheme will provide sustainable business and livelihood support to 15,000 SHGs and they would be able to earn additional income of at least Rs 1 lakh per annum.
The scheme will help infusing advance technology in agriculture for improved efficiency, enhance crop yield and reduced cost of operation for the benefit of farmers.
The scheme approves holistic interventions by converging resources and efforts of Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), Rural development (DoRD) and Fertilizers (DoF), the Women SHGs and Lead Fertilizer Companies (LFCs).
Appropriate clusters where usage of drones is economically feasible will be identified and progressive 15,000 women SHGs in various States in the identified clusters will be selected for providing the drones.
A Central Financial Assistance @ 80 per cent of the cost of drone and accessories/ancillary charges up to a maximum of Rs 8 lakh will be provided to the women SHGs for purchase of drones.
The Cluster Level Federation (CLFs) of SHGs may raise the balance amount as loan under National Agriculture Infra Financing Facility (AIF). An interest subvention @ 3 per cent on the AIF loan will be provided.
One of the members of the women SHGs who is well qualified, 18 and above years of age, will be elected by the State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLM) and LFCs for 15 day training comprising of five day mandatory drone pilot training and additional 10 day training for agriculture purpose of nutrient and pesticide application.
The other member/family member of the SHG with inclination to take up repairs of electrical goods, fitting and mechanical works will be selected by the State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM) and LFCs who will be trained as drone technician/assistant. The training shall be provided as a package along with the supply of drones.
Considering the difficulties which SHGs may face in procuring the drones, repair and maintenance of drones through drone companies, the LFCs will act as a bridge between drone supplier companies and SHGs.
LFCs will also promote use of Nano Fertilizers such as Nano Urea and Nano DAP by the drones with SHGs. The SHGs will rent out the drone services to the farmers for Nano fertilizer and also for pesticide applications.