Salam Kisan trains Maharashtra’s ‘first’ female drone pilot, Linta Shelke Waghmare


Marching towards the vision of fostering inclusivity and innovation in India’s agriculture sector, Salam Kisan, a data-driven end-to-end agriculture platform that helps increase productivity and profitability for farmers, trained Maharashtra’s first female drone pilot, Linta Shelke Waghmare from Wardha district, the company said. This initiative underscores the company’s focus on skill development while equipping more women as a crucial part of the country’s agricultural ecosystem.

According to Salam Kisan, by enlisting Linta in their drone training programme, the organisation has taken a step to encourage gender neutrality in agriculture technology. She was trained under an intense five-day training programme at a DGCA-approved institute. Linta’s determination and enthusiasm have broken down traditional gender-biased barriers, setting a precedent for the future of farming. Her achievement is not only an inspiration to aspiring female drone pilots but also a symbol of women’s potential in shaping the future of agriculture.

Highlighting the significance of the initiative, Dhanashri Mandhani, Founder & CEO of Salam Kisan, said, “A majority of women labour in agriculture is still informal, and their contributions aren’t accounted in our country’s GDP. While championing gender-neutral workspaces, we’ve been continually working towards including women in the formal fold. Among 100s of field officers, Linta has emerged as a beacon of change. From a field officer in the male-dominated landscape, she has risen to become Maharashtra’s inaugural drone pilot. I am extremely proud and excited to be on this journey with her. It’s also encouraging to see the Indian government take similar initiatives with their upcoming scheme where 15,000 women SHGs will receive agri-drones.”

Sharing her experience of Salam Kisan’s drone training programme, Linta Shelke Waghmare said, “Growing up in a farming family, I always had an interest in agriculture. When I got associated with Salam Kisan, Dhanashree ma’am encouraged me to equip myself with more skills. Her running a big company while modernising agricultural operations inspired me. With her support, I completed extensive training and learned to fly a drone. It is like a dream come true, and I can now help farmers improve their daily operations. I am glad to contribute to our country’s agriculture.”

Recently, Salam Kisan introduced the capacity building programme, an initiative offering drone pilot training and employment opportunities to rural youth. Beyond its core focus on skill development and job creation, this programme is focused on nurturing leadership qualities and resilience within each participant.

Salam Kisan is a data-driven agriculture ecosystem providing centralised solutions for stakeholders in the agriculture ecosystem. They equip farmers with various 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 seven months, they have catered to over 22,000 farmers across 7,000 villages in India.

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