Drone manufacturer IoTechWorld Avigation has signed an agreement with the State Bank of India (SBI) under which the state-owned lender will provide concessional loans to farmers, FPOs and rural entrepreneurs for purchasing the company’s agri drones under a Central government scheme, the company said on Tuesday.
SBI will offer collateral-free loans to customers of IoTechWorld Avigation at competitive rates and also provide an interest subvention of 3 per cent on the loans as mandated under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), said, Deepak Bhardwaj, Co-Founder of the Gurugram-based drone manufacturing company.
An agreement was signed on February 1, 2023, between IoTechWorld Avigation Co-founder, Deepak Bhardwaj and Yogendra Shelkey, DGM IC & GL, ABU & GSS Dept, State Bank of India.
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“Agri-drones are going to be a game changer for the Indian agriculture sector. The loan facility being extended by the SBI will be very helpful for farmers who were not able to purchase drones because of a lack of institutional financing facilities,” Bhardwaj said.
Speaking on the tie-up, Co-Founder, IoTechWorld, Anoop Upadhyay said, “Drones help in optimal use of farm inputs like fertilisers and pesticides, and thus reduce the cost of farming. The use of agri-drones not only helps in increasing farm output but also saves a lot of time. Agri drones are going to be a real game-changer for Indian agriculture.”
Upadhyay further said that the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, is a financing facility for creating post-harvest management infrastructure and community farm assets.
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Under the AIF scheme which was launched in the year 2020, Rs 1 lakh crore is to be disbursed by the financial year 2025-26 and the interest subvention and credit guarantee assistance will be given till the year 2032-33.
Farmers, agri-entrepreneurs, startups, FPOs, PACS, marketing cooperative societies, SHGs, joint liability groups (JLG), multipurpose cooperative societies, and Central and state agencies or local bodies sponsored public-private partnership projects can avail of upto Rs. 2 crore loans for the creation of post-harvest management and technological advancement in the agriculture sector. These include financing for drones, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and supply chain services like e-marketing platforms, warehouses, silos, packhouses, assaying units, sorting and grading units, cold chains, logistics facilities, primary processing centres, and ripening chambers among others.