Maharashtra,25th August 2023: With an aim to equip farmers with effective tech-enabled solutions, Salam Kisan, India’s fast-growing data-driven end to end agriculture platform that helps increase productivity and profitability for farmers, introduces a first-of-its-kind drone-based spraying service through FPOs on a rental basis for farmers in the Chandrapur district, Maharashtra. This groundbreaking initiative was unveiled by Honourable Cabinet Minister of State Mr. Sudhir Munagantiwar, Cabinet Minister of Finance & Planning, Forests in the Government of Maharashtra during the Wild Vegetable Festival 2023 on Independence Day, and he hoisted the national flag using a drone provided by the company. With this initiative, Salam Kisan aims to equip farmers with cutting-edge technology that not only enhances their agricultural practices and promotes sustainable resource usage but also contributes to their economic well-being.

Under this initiative, Salam Kisan has collaborated with Farmers’ Producer Organizations (FPOs) to make drone spraying services easily accessible and affordable to a broader spectrum of farmers. By making drones an efficient and doorstep solution, the company intends to equip farmers with cutting-edge spraying capabilities for seamless pest management and precise use of agrochemicals. It also reduces water wastage by 85 – 90% and product usage by 20-30%, making strides toward sustainable agriculture.

At the same time, FPOs will receive an assured incentive on each spraying order (acreage wise). While reducing input costs for farmers, improving operational efficiency, and conserving valuable resources, this strategic initiative intends to provide FPOs with financial benefits and upliftment.

The Independence Day launch event witnessed the presence of key dignitaries who have significantly contributed to India’s agricultural progress. Accompanying them were Salam Kisan’s special guides, including Akshay Khobragade, COO; Paresh Kullarkar, Agri-Operational Manager, and the pioneering drone pilots Raj Sidam and Amol Kohare.

Dhanashree Mandhani, Founder & CEO, Salam Kisan, said, “At Salam Kisan, we’re committed to empowering rural communities toward resilience and sustainability, and collaborations between public and private entities will be pivotal in implementing change at the grass-roots level. We believe in PM Narendra Modi’s vision that FPOs are going to give great power to small farmers and that the coming together of Sarkar and Sahkaar will drive us to Viksit Bharat. Our national agriculture policy aims to set up 10,000 new FPOs by 2025 with a focus on revamping agriculture value chains and catalyzing the growth of logistics in rural areas. Launching drone-based spraying service in collaboration with FPOs this Independence Day is a testament to our commitment to this vision.”

“Usually, traditional pump spraying uses 100 – 120 liters of water per acre, and drone spraying uses 10 liters per acre. Traditional spraying is time-consuming and requires manual labor, while drone spraying takes 7 minutes. By making drone service accessible to farmers, we are helping reduce input costs, increase efficiency, and ensure farmers’ safety. At the core, we intend to benefit farmers, our agricultural ecosystem, and FPOs. We are delighted to receive appreciation from honorable minister Sudhir Bhai Munagantiwar for our vision.” stated Akshay Khobragade, COO, Salam Kisan.

A pivotal highlight of the event was the recognition of Raj Sidam and Amol Kohare, the first tribal drone pilots, for their exceptional contributions to the agricultural sector. Salam Kisan’s visionary approach extends to strategic collaborations with women-led and tribal-led FPOs. These partnerships empower women-led FPOs with the necessary knowledge, tools, and resources to flourish within the agricultural ecosystem. By nurturing skill development, facilitating market access, and promoting value chain integration, Salam Kisan creates an enabling environment for these FPOs to excel and make significant contributions to the agricultural sector.

Salam Kisan is a rapidly-growing data-driven agriculture ecosystem providing centralized solutions for stakeholders in the agriculture ecosystem. They equip farmers with a range of solutions from pre-sowing to post-harvest, from AI-enabled crop planning calendars, equipment rentals, drone rental services, storage facilities, and produce marketplace, among others. In just 7 months, they have catered to over 22k farmers across 7,000 villages in India.

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