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UP’s drone pilot didis are bridging agri gaps, Video goes viral

A viral video from IFFCPO UP shows women drone pilots in Phulpur, UP, flying drones under the government's Namo Drone Didi programme. Launched in March 2024, this initiative aims to train 10,000 women.

By Rashaad Ather
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Women Drone Pilots

Women Drone Pilots

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A video is circulating on X from the farmer’s cooperative IFFCO UP, showcasing women drone pilots. The viral video shows how rural women in Phulpur, UP flying drones as part of the government’s Namo Drone Didi programme.

Drone Didi Programme

The Indian government has recently launched the “Drone Didi” program for women in March 2024.

This initiative by the Indian government aims to train and empower 10,000 women as drone pilots. 

Uses of Drones in Agriculture:

In rural India, women are bridging agricultural gaps with drones.

As drone pilots, rural women do farming tasks, such as planting seeds, monitoring crop health, and applying fertilisers and pesticides efficiently.

Take Ambika Rana from Haryana, for example. 

She was the first woman in her district authorised to fly a drone, earning her the nickname “Drone Didi.” 

This job has brought her financial independence and community respect. 

Similarly, Kajal Kumari from Bihar, who was once a homemaker, now supports her family by spraying crops with a drone, earning up to Rs 75,000 a month during the crop season.

A Win-Win Solution?

Although women drone pilots praise its benefits, for example, drones use significantly less water than manual spraying (10 litres/ acre vs 200 litres/ acre) but they’re often used to spray chemical pesticides. 

This raises environmental concerns. 

The challenge is to use this technology in eco-friendly ways. 

Can drones be used to apply organic treatments or other sustainable solutions? Let us know in the comments.

Social Media Reaction:

Users on X celebrate "women empowerment" in response to a video showcasing rural women using drones for farm tasks.

One user wrote: “True definition of Women Empowerment ”

Another user wrote: “This innovative approach not only streamlines farming practices but also showcases the untapped potential of women in agribusiness.

As these women navigate the skies, they are not just pilots; they are pioneers, shaping the future of sustainable and inclusive agriculture.”