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Agricultural sciences company FMC Corporation has launched drone spray services for farmers in India, Content Media Solutions reported.

Following approval by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the government body responsible for the regulation of air transport services in India, the drone service was expected to improve farm productivity while reducing the need for manual labour, the 10 February report said.

Accessed through the FMC India farmer app, which is available in seven regional Indian languages, the drone spray service was in operation in Andhra Pradesh and was expected to become available in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra by the end of this month, Content Media Solutions wrote.

“We plan to maximise our reach among Indian farmers in the selected states during the first three months, and thereafter extend the services to farmers across the country before the next Kharif season commences,” Ravi Annavarapu, president of FMC India, was quoted as saying.

Agricultural unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) give more control over spray uniformity and coverage, as well as making the application of crop products more precise, according to the report, with each spray drone capable of treating 1.21ha-1.61ha (3-4 acres) in 15-20 minutes.

“We will provide access to drone technology, training, and financing… Indian agriculture is on the cusp of change, and we believe drone services will play a crucial part in transforming agricultural practices,” Annavarapu added.