Goa drone to spray pesticides, pluck fruits from tall trees

Replacing humans in risky activities like climbing on a single trunk, drones will help reduce the chances of a steep fall or injury

The GoanUpdated: Friday, June 03, 2022, 11:25 AM IST
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Goa: Bringing revolution in the traditional farming methods, the innovative experiment of creating drones to spray pesticides on the tall trees like coconut and areca nut has been a successful one. And the innovator is none other than a young progressive farmer who is also an engineer by profession, Prof Gaurish Samant. A faculty at the Don Bosco College at Fatorda, Prof Samant did the trial runs of this drone recently in the presence of agriculture officers from Pernem and local farmers.

This drone would be a revolutionary step in farming as it will not only help the spraying of pesticides but also do the plucking of fruits from tall trees. The drone can pluck coconuts and areca nuts, especially in the monsoons when tree trunks get slippery and climbing them in person becomes risky. Replacing humans in risky activities like climbing on a single trunk, drones will help reduce the chances of a steep fall or injury.

“In monsoons, Goa experiences shortage of padelis (people who climb trees) to pluck coconuts and areca nuts. During those days drones can replace humans. The farmers should adopt revolutionary methods in agriculture and make it a profitable business,” appeals Prof Samant who shares that it was a discussion with his father that led to this concept of creating drones to function on heights.

“The 12 kg drone which is in the developmental stage can carry a weight of 16 kgs and is half-a-meter in length and breadth. Designed by Prof Samant and his student team, this is first such drone in Goa that can go to such higher levels and probably the first in India too. My team of students Alric Godinho, Chris Fernandes, Aaron Fernandes, Reeve Fernandes, Vailan De Souza are keen in developing more of these drones, if farmers come up with orders,” claims Prof Samant, adding, “There are drones available for paddy harvesting which work on lower heights, however, I am working on developing harvesting mechanics too which is a one-year-long project.”

Farmers as well as agriculture officers Prasad Parab, Arjun Parab, Suraj Nhanji, Sandip Malik, Vaibhav Chodankar, Tulshidas Gawas, Uday Prabhudesai, Pravin Tilve, Rajaram Mavlankar, Siddhesh Prabhudesai, Babi Naik, Shriram Salgaonkar, Divakar Mavalankar, Sadanand Vitalkar and Vishnu Naik were present at the time of the demonstration.

Agriculture officer Prasad Parab told the story behind the making of this drone. Explaining how easy it is to spray pesticides on small plants than on tall trees like coconut, palm or areca nut, the agriculture officers discussed it with Samant father-son duo, who were enthusiastic to create some kind of mechanism to resolve this issue. “And thus the concept of drone to spray pesticides on taller trees shaped up,” said Parab.

These drones can carry minimum five litres of pesticide and travel up in the air. In the future, Prof Samant plans to make a drone that can carry 16 litres. These drones could be manufactured with the funds provided by the Central government.

This news is reported by The Goan. To read more GOA news visit The Goan

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