Bhopal, May 2023: FMC, a leading agricultural sciences company, today announced the launch of drone spray services in the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India. The company also launched Galaxy® NXT, a novel herbicide for soybean crops, one of the most cultivated crops in the state.
The new herbicide and drone spray service was launched in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, in the presence of Mr. Mark Douglas, President and Chief Executive Officer of FMC Corporation, and Mr. Pramod Thota, President of the FMC Asia Pacific region. A live demonstration of self-propelled boom spray services, which are expected to be introduced throughout the country in the next three months, was also conducted successfully in farmers’ fields.
Approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the government body responsible for the regulation of air transport services in India, the drone service is expected to improve farm productivity while reducing the need for manual labor. Agricultural unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) allow more control over spray uniformity and coverage, as well as improve the precision with which crop protection products like FMC’s premium and farmer-trusted brands Coragen® insect control and Benevia® insecticide are applied. Each spray drone can treat three to four acres in about 15 minutes, making the spraying job easier and more efficient. Using UAVs will also protect farmers from climatic risks like dehydration and heat stroke. FMC India has also been running customized training programs for farmers, advocating optimal use of input resources across crops grown in India. The spray services are available via the FMC India Farmer App in regional languages for ease of accessibility.
“FMC’s move is in line with the Indian government’s inclusive reforms to onboard drones and other spray services to modernize agriculture in the country,” said Mr. Ravi Annavarapu, President, of FMC India. “Adoption of technology is critical to ensure crop protection and food security. India is at the forefront of innovating food systems, and this progress is best displayed in the state of Madhya Pradesh, which is market-driven, tech-positive, and farmer-centric. Madhya Pradesh, one of the first states where FMC has introduced spray services, demonstrates our commitment to providing access and training to promote rural entrepreneurship. At the same time, we are pleased to offer innovative solutions for the production of soybean ahead of the kharif season and will continue to contribute to the growth of the agriculture sector in Madhya Pradesh.”
Soybean, a high-value oilseed crop, is predominantly grown in the rainfed agro-ecosystem of central and peninsular India, Madhya Pradesh being the biggest grower state. Galaxy® NXT herbicide is a unique proprietary innovation product that contains dual modes of action which offer effective post-emergent control of grasses and broadleaf weeds and also tough-to-kill weeds including Commelina benghalensis, Commelina communis and Acalypha indica in soybeans. The product will be made available by FMC in Madhya Pradesh across districts like Sehore, Ujjain, Indore, Dhar, Ratlam, Sagar, Chhindwara, Guna, and Ashok Nagar.
“The Indian national vision for self-sufficiency or Atmanirbhar Bharat, holds food sovereignty at its heart,” Mr. Annavarapu continued. “At FMC, it gives us great pleasure to have the same growth-oriented mindset and commitment to sustainability and innovation in agriculture. Through the launch of spray services to enable farmers in Madhya Pradesh to use our range of insecticides on various crops and the launch of a new product Galaxy® NXT herbicide for soybean growers, we are well equipped to meet the requirements of our partners and we will continue to localize and customize our services across the spectrum.”
In addition to the new product launch and field demonstration, a ceremony was also organized in Bhopal where FMC’s top 25 partners in India were felicitated by the company’s senior leaders for their resolute commitment to working together for the introduction of innovative products and new services to Indian farmers.