Kerala siblings Devika and Devan Chandrasekharan are using drones to help farmers boost their yield and income, as well as reduce dependency on fertilisers.
Kerala’s Devika and Devan Chandrasekharan are transforming agricultural practices using drones. This innovation helps farmers produce up to 35 per cent more yield.
With a mission to boost farm yield, they launched their startup Fuselage Innovations in 2020. So far, they have launched two drones — Niriksh and Fiya.
Both drones are cloud-connected. Niriksh has sensors that can spot problems such as pests and nutrient deficiencies at an early stage through plant mapping. Instead of spraying all the crops, these drones help spot specific plants or areas needing help. After analysis, Fiya is used to spray the required area.
“Over the past two years, we have seen that adopting drone technology and following the precision farming protocols help boost yield by 25-35 per cent. A significant dip of 75 per cent has been observed in fertiliser and nutrient use. Efficiently, farmers’ profits have become three times,” Devan, co-founder of the startup, tells The Professional Times.
The brother-sister duo also provides products and services to farmers. While the drones cost Rs 4-7 lakh, they charge Rs 2,000-5,000 per acre for the service model. So far, the startup has worked with more than 3,500 farmers.
What inspired the two engineers towards the innovation was the devastating Kerala floods, which left fertile land destroyed due to the removal of topsoil.