In India, over 12,000 farmer suicides are reported per year since 2013 according to the reports submitted by the Government to Supreme Court (News article by Times of India). The report added that these are the numbers despite steps taken by the government to improve the social and economic conditions of the farmers. Some of the causes often cited includes lack of irrigation, low crop productivity, fragmentation of land, unsuitability of seeds, inadequate sources of credit and policy planning. But what can technology do in this regard to mitigate these issues and increase the net farm income?
The solution is smart farming – i.e., use of technology in farming systems aiding in the management of crops and livestock to increase output without compromising quality. The developed nations are already using it to produce cost effective quality results. But there exists a humongous lack of awareness and farming solutions in catering the demands of the domestic Indian market.
The idea is to use a swarm of autonomous drones for agricultural purposes like spraying pesticides, sowing seeds and monitoring crops using aerial imagery. To reduce the overall costs, the drones are manufactured completely using 3D printing which makes the idea game changing and disruptive. Cost effective FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printer can be used to build drones with hard carbon fiber material which melts at 220-250°C making the drones rugged.
Market Size: The global smart agriculture market is expected to grow from USD 6.55 Billion in 2015 to USD 23.44 Billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 13.5% between 2017 and 2025*. The market in Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at the highest CAGR on the basis of geography.
Competitors: vDrone, Aarav Unmanned Systems and other smart agro companies
USP: Use of drone swarm for agricultural purposes which is new to Indian market and complete 3D printed drones making it economically viable and scalable.