Question – Discuss the possibilities of transforming Indian agriculture through farm mechanization. Discuss the steps taken so far by the Government of India in recent times in the direction of farm mechanization. – 30 April
The Government has been taking steps to achieve Doubling of Farmer’s Income by 2022 which can be achieved through emphasis on the aspects of farm mechanization.
The mechanization involves judicious application of inputs by using agricultural machinery/equipment e.g. hand tools, bullock drawn equipment, power driven machines including the prime movers for performing various operations required for crop production activities. The mechanization ensures reduction of drudgery associated with various farm operations as also economize the utilization of inputs and thereby harnessing the potential of available resources.
With a view to enhance the pace of agricultural mechanization, the Government has laid emphasis to provide financial assistance to the farmers and other target groups for purchase of different kinds of farm equipment, demonstration of new equipment among farmers for spread of new technology, human resource development in operation, maintenance/ repairs and management of agricultural machinery and the quality improvement through testing and evaluation besides institutional credit & fiscal measures. The Farm Machinery Training & Testing Institutes at Budni (M.P.), Hissar (Haryana), Garladinne (A.P.) and BishwanathChariali (Assam) established by the Government have playing a vital role in promoting agricultural mechanization.
Indian Government appointed Ashok Dalwai Committee to recommend measures to achieve farm mechanization targets.
One of the most important recommendations of the committee is to fast track the mechanization of farm implements in all areas of the country as improved agricultural implements and machinery are essential inputs for modern agriculture.
Over the different Plans, emphasis have been laid by the Government on selective mechanization which has resulted in increase in the total power availability on farm from 0.29 Kw/ha in 1971-72 to the level of 1.23 Kw/ha in 2001-02. This is likely to increase to a level of about 1.5 Kw/ha by 2005-06. Farm power availability per unit area is low in comparison to the developed countries of the world.
The Indian agriculture has undergone a sea change i.e. from manual and bullock farming to utilization of improved equipment and power farming and has resulted in increasing the cropping intensity. India does not need to import tractors, combine harvesters and other improved equipment, which are available within the country. Specialized equipment for cultivation of vegetables, oilseeds and other cash crops, however, need to be imported/ developed to increase productivity of these crops to with the developed countries in the world.