Amritsar, NFAPost: The world’s oldest tea company, Assam Compnay India Ltd (ACIL), is set to take advantage from the technological advances by deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI) in their tea farms in Assam.
The company plans to begin a pilot project by using robotic drones that would help in improving the quality of tea and health of the workers at the tea gardens.
ACIL, which was established in 1839, was recently acquired by United Arab Emirates-based BR Shetty, who is a founder of a number of companies in the UAE and has his roots from Karnataka.
By deploying drones in the tea gardens, the company plans to spray fertilisers and pesticides on the plants from a height of six-to-eight feet from the ground, which would aid in reducing the risk of workers catching diseases.
ACIL would be the first Indian company to initiate the usage of agriculture drone in the tea gardens of Assam.
Currently workers at tea gardens, including that of ACIL, spray the fertilisers and pesticides manually and this causes them to fall prey to tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases.
According to the Tea Workers’ Union in Assam, tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases have been common among the workers at the tea plantations and many have died due to the same.
Plantation Labour Act directs each tea estate to provide protective gears including gloves, masks and goggles to the workers at the plantations, but it is alleged that only few estates follow the guidelines.
The ACIL through BRS Ventures will deploy two kinds of robotic drones, one set of which will analyse the health of the tea plants, soil and other factors scientifically, while the other set would spray fertilisers and pesticides.
The company also hopes to reduce the excessive use leading to wastage of fertilisers and improve the quality of tea.
ACIL has also confirmed that pesticides being sprayed from a height would not pollute the air as there would be precision sparying.
For technological advances in the plantation area, ACIL has tied up with several firms across countries including that from Israel, Scotland, Australia and the US. US-based Smart Farms Inc would be assisting ACIL to develop the fully automatic pesticide and fertiliser spraying drone.