PJTSAU plans course on drone use in agriculture

Hyderabad: With several farmers preferring drones for different agricultural purposes including spraying pesticides, fertilizers and seeding, the demand for professionals who have expertise in operating the drones is increasing steadily.

Sensing bright employment and self-employment opportunities for the youngsters besides helping farmers, Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU), Hyderabad, is planning to roll out a certificate course in drones use in agriculture. This certificate course will be offered in collaboration with an aviation company.

The varsity has already received approval from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to use the drones for research and development works in agriculture. In fact, it is the first university in the country to receive such permission.

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The approval was granted for the evaluation and standardisation of plant protection solutions, agri-spraying, and developing protocols for the diagnosis of major pests and diseases in PJTSAU research farms in Telangana. The university by involving students has developed standard operating protocols for six major crops in the State.

“Through the certificate course in drones use in agriculture, the university intends to roll out certified drone trained human resource for public use. The plan is to have a drone pilot for each village in the State. The training will also provide employment opportunities to the rural youth and university students,” PJTSAU vice-chancellor, Dr V Praveen Rao said.

This apart, as organic food is in great demand these days, the university has decided to offer MSc in Organic Farming program from this year. Accordingly, the varsity administration has received permission from the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) to start the program where the facilities are available. The university has recently been granted a special project in organic farming worth Rs 10 crore through Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.

Also, the university which successfully conducted an online course on ‘skill and entrepreneurship development in organic farming’ in collaboration with the Association of Indian Organic Industry has opened registration for the second batch. The training will commence from March 1.

This year, the PJTSAU in collaboration with the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, has reformed the course curriculum for the agri-business management program at the postgraduate level.

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