PACS as ‘drone entrepreneurs’ for spraying fertiliser
Polity & Governance
17th Jun, 2023
As per the information from Cooperation ministry, government is planning to employ Primary agricultural credit societies (PACS) as ‘drone entrepreneurs’ for spraying fertilisers and pesticides in fields to achieve the last mile coverage and high yield.
- Recently, the Budget 2023-24 has announced 2, 516 crores for the computerisation of 63,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) over the next five years.
- The budget aims to bring greater transparency and accountabilityin their operations and enable them to diversify their business and undertake more activities.
Key points of the proposed plan:
- There are about 1 lakh Primary Agricultural Credit Cooperative Societies present across the country which are not functioning as ‘fertiliser retailers’ will be identified and encouraged to function as retailers.
- The PACS which are not currently functioning as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samridhi Kendras will be brought under their ambit.
- The PACS will be connected with the marketing of organic fertilisers, especially Fermented Organic Manure/ Liquid Fermented Organic Manure / Phosphate Enriched Organic Manure.
- Fertiliser companies will act as an ‘aggregator’ for small bio-organic producers to market the end product, in the supply and marketing chain of bio-organic fertilizers PACS will also be included as wholesalers/retailers.
About Primary agricultural credit societies (PACS):
- PACS are village level cooperative credit societies that serve as the last link in a three-tier cooperative credit structure headed by the State Cooperative Banks (SCB) at the state level.
- Maintaining the supply of the hired light machinery for agricultural purposes.
- To arrange for supplying agricultural inputs. Examples -are seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, kerosene, etc.
- It will carry out activities like the sale of gas and petrol and the storage and marketing of dairy and farm products to alleviate poverty and empower women.
- It helps its members by providing marketing facilities that could enhance the sale of their agricultural products in the market at the proper prices.
- Generating optimum financial benefits for people engaged in animal husbandry and allied sectors.
The computerisation of PACS has already been taken up by a few states, including Maharashtra.
Application of Drones in Agriculture:
- The use of drone in agriculture is helpful to farmers as it have some distinct advantages such as high field capacity and efficiency, less turnaround time and other field operational delays, wastage reduction of pesticide and fertilizers due to high degree of atomization.
- Water saving due to ultra-low volume spraying technology in comparison to traditional spraying methods, reduction in cost of spraying and fertilizer application in comparison to conventional methods etc. besides reduction of human exposure to hazardous chemicals.