Indian Scientists Are Experimenting With Drone Seed-bombing To Plant a Forest

An anonymous reader shares an article: “I’m basically from that area (Gauribidanur in Indian state of Karnataka); son of a farmer, came to academia… keen to bring back my younger days, when the river used to flow for three to four months a year. I need to rejuvenate it,” says professor KPJ Reddy over a phone conversation. It’s quite apparent from his tone that this experiment means a lot to him. A day earlier, on June 5, World Environment Day, Reddy, in collaboration with two other scientists at the Department of Aerodynamics, Bangalore, Dr H N Science Centre, and the Department of Forest, collectively held their first ever drone-seeding trial on the banks of river Pinakini in the Gauribidanur area in Karnataka’s Kolar district. “For that, the only way is to reach by air. Doing it with big aircraft is expensive, and take-offs and landings are a problem. So the only way to do it is through drones,” he says, when we meet a few days later at the IISc Campus in Bangalore. Over tea with professor S N Omkar, chief research scientist at IISc, he further elaborates on their plans. “What we have in mind is to at least seed 10,000 acres, and we will be doing this every year, for three consecutive years,” he says.


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