Next generation farming: General Aeronautics starts commercial production of agri-drones

Drone startup General Aeronautics has said that it has begun commercial production of agricultural drones and aims monthly production of 100 units.

General Aeronautics is into delivering advanced aerial technologies for agriculture, healthcare and unmanned aerial vehicle design.

“We have started commercial production this month after conducting trials for the last three years,” Srikanth Srinivasan, Head of Sales and Marketing at General Aeronautics, told PTI.

The trials were conducted in 10,000 acres in 45 crops in 14 states in experimental plots of agrichemical companies. The trial results have been validated by 15 agricultural institutes, he said.

With brand name ‘Krishak’, the drone manufactured by General Aeronautics has 16 kg payload with 25 minutes flight time and has a coverage of up to six acres per battery charge with artificial intelligence assisted navigation, he said.

Srinivasan said nozzles used in Krishak are different as spraying happens in mist form without posing any hazard and increasing coverage.

“The battery used now has a capacity of 600 cycles. The company is working on a new battery of 6,000 cycles,” he said.

Currently, the Bengaluru-based startup has priced its drones at Rs 25 lakh each with three batteries. Its main clients at present are agro-chemical companies like Syngenta, Bayer Cropscience and others. It is mainly focusing on B2B sales.

Last year, the government issued standard operating procedures for use of drones in the farm sector. The Union Budget too gave a push. The Agriculture Ministry has come up with a scheme to fund drones to cooperatives, entrepreneurs and farmer produce organisations.

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