Indian company rakes in thousands of agric drone orders
The Indian government introduced measures to protect the growth of its fledgling drone industry by banning all civilian drone imports in 2021 – and now it seems those protectionist policies are bearing fruits.
The latest beneficiary is Garuda Aerospace, a Chennai-based drone manufacturer which seems to be making a killing with its agriculture drone models; having received orders for well over 10,000 agricultural drones from across India.
Just today, the company announced that it has received 400 more orders from the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO Kisan Suvidha Limited).
The follows the successful launch of the Karnataka leg of Garuda Aerospace’s second Drone Yatra initiative, which the drone maker held in partnership with IFFCO.
Introduced in 2021, the Drone Yatra (Journey) is a program aimed at revolutionising agricultural sector by introducing Nano Urea spraying through Precision Agriculture Drones, thereby enhancing the utilisation of drones for agricultural purposes.
Now back for its second round of countrywide roadshows, called Drone Yatra 2.0, the programme seems to have become a gold mine for Garuda, resulting in the latter securing well over 10,000 orders for its agricultural drones.
“We have already secured 400 Agri Kisan Drone orders for IFFCO in the first quarter, and the tally has surpassed 10,000 pre-booked drones for this year within the first three months,” Garuda in a statement
“Having received dual Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) certification for our Garuda Kisan Drones, we have emerged as a frontrunner in the drone industry.”
Thus far, the Drone Yatra 2.0 has covered nearly 280,000km in 410 districts across India, preaching the gospel of agricultural and precision drone technology to farmers.
The aim is to cover 775 districts in 75 days.
“Garuda Kisan drones are the most affordable in the market priced at Rs 4.50 lakh each, we have already received booking orders for (then) 6,000 drones indicating the success of the Drone Yatra,” company founder-CEO Agnishwar Jayaprakash said in May.
“We are halfway through our Drone Yatra 2.0 and it has been an incredible experience meeting our farmers and youth. Our biggest growth with this initiative was to create maximum impact and gain farmers’ trust by conducting demo sessions on-ground by making them familiar with technology.”
In April, Garuda said it received a government subsidy to scale up production of its agricultural drones.
With a total payload capacity of 11,5kg, the Garuda Kisan Drone can carry 10litres’ worth of pesticides, has a flight range of 1,000metres and can stay in the air for up to fifteen minutes. It also has various precision spraying features that seem to have struck a chord with farmers in India.