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World Economic Forum: Drones Can Boost India’s GDP By Up To 1.5% And Address Key Agricultural Sector Challenges

Drones, or the unnamed aerial vehicles, are increasingly being used by various sectors ranging from personal use to war purposes, but they can also add to economic output of a country.

Drones have the potential to be at the center of a technology-led transformation of Indian agriculture and boost the country’s gross domestic product by 1-1.5 percent while adding at least five lakh jobs in the coming years, the World Economic Forum said in a report.

“There are truly revolutionary changes happening in the farthest reaches of the country – at the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and agriculture as well as between military and civilian technologies – that have the power to truly transform a billion livelihoods,” said the report, prepared by WEF’s Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution in India in collaboration with Adani Group. “Drones are at the centre of such a revolution and can become the fulcrum for a technology-led transformation of the economy.”

Importance of the farm sector
India’s agriculture sector is vital for the economy as it provides livelihood for 8% of families and ensure food security to 1.3 billion of people residing in the world’s second most populous state. In fact, Indian agriculture is not just significant for the domestic market market but it is a key component of the global food supply chain as well.

India exported agriculture and allied products valuing $29,815 million in 2020-21, WEF said In comparison with the industry/services sector, which adds a gross value of 80% while employing 54.4% of the country’s workforce, agriculture accounts for 45.6% of the workforce at 18.29% of the gross value added (GVA) as of 2019-2020, it added.

Challenges for the agriculture sector
However, the sector has reached a critical juncture where the challenge of food security is compounded by nutritional security, self-sufficiency, ecological problems, climate change and sharp inflation.

Among other challenges, the farm sector faces challenges including fragmented landholdings, inefficient usage of agriculture inputs, poor availability of credit and financial inclusion, lack of market access and poor post-harvest infrastructure.

A mix of infrastructural and access challenges have stopped Indian agriculture from achieving its full potential, the report said.


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