General Aeronautics begins commercial production of agri drones

According to the company, trials were conducted for the last three years and the results were validated by 15 agricultural institutes.
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Drone startup General Aeronautics has said that it has begun commercial production of agricultural drones and aims a monthly production of 100 units.

The Bengaluru-based startup delivers 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, General Aeronautics, told PTI.

The trials were conducted in 45 crops in 14 states, across 10,000 acres, in experimental plots of agrichemical companies. The trial results have been validated by 15 agricultural institutes, said Srikanth. The drone manufactured by General Aeronautics, under the brand name 'Krishak', has a 16-kg payload with 25 minutes of flight time and can cover up to six acres per battery charge with AI-assisted navigation, he said.

According to the company, the nozzles used in Krishak are different, as spraying happens in mist form without posing any hazard, increasing coverage.

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

The startup has priced its drones at Rs 25 lakh each, with three batteries. Its main clients are agro-chemical companies such as Syngenta and Bayer Cropscience. It is mainly focused on B2B sales.

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

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