MECHANIZATION AND TECHNOLOGY
Farm mechanization is an important element of modernization of agriculture. Farm Productivity is positively correlated with the availability of farm power coupled with efficient farm implements and their judicious utilization. Agricultural mechanization not only enables efficient utilization of various inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, plant protection chemicals and water for irrigation but also it helps in poverty alleviation by making farming an attractive enterprise. The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation is following multi-pronged strategy for promoting Farm Mechanization.
The Dept. is implementing a scheme for Promoting Agricultural Mechanization through “Outsourcing of training and demonstrations of newly developed equipments”. The objective of the scheme is to create awareness about agricultural equipment and machinery among the end users and other stakeholders. Through this scheme, State Governments organize demonstration of improved/newly developed agricultural/horticultural equipment as identified by them at farmers' fields so that the farmers get acquainted about their use and utility for production of different types of crops. In the year 2010-2011, an outlay of Rs. 10.91 Crores has been made. Out of total outlay, Rs. 50 lakhs is earmarked for North Eastern States.
Post Harvest Management being one of the thrust areas for the Dept., a scheme on “Post Harvest Technology and Management” is being implemented, with an outlay of Rs. 40.0 crore during XI Plan period. Under the scheme the technologies developed by ICAR, CSIR and those identified from within the country and abroad for primary processing, value addition, low cost scientific storage and transport of agricultural produce are promoted to minimize wastage during post harvesting processes. The main components of the PHT&M scheme are establishment of low cost Post Harvest Technology (PHT) units for transfer of primary processing technology, supply of PHT equipments to end users with Government assistance, demonstration of PHT technologies and training of farmers, entrepreneurs and scientists. The outlay of 2010-2011 is Rs. 7 crores out of which Rs. 50 lakh is earmarked for North Eastern States.
Beside above interventions, the Department is promoting Farm Mechanization by making agricultural equipment available among farmers at cheaper rates. A level of 25-50% subsidy on procurement cost is made available under revised “Macro Management of Agriculture (MMA)” scheme for different categories of equipment. The subsidy on tractors and power tillers is available on the models approved by the department under institutional financing. Besides tractors and power tillers, combine harvesters are also available to the farmers as per approved pattern of subsidy. As an individual farmer may not be in a position to purchase high cost equipment on his own, Self Help Group of farmers (SHGs), user groups, cooperative societies of farmers etc are also made eligible for assistance under the programme.
As a result of different programmes implemented by the Government of India over the years and equal participation from Private Sector, the level of mechanization has been increasing steadily over the years. This is evident from the sale of tractors and power tillers, taken as indicator of the adoption of the mechanized means of farming, during the last five years, as given in the Table-1 below:
Table 1 - Year wise sale of tractors and power tillers
This has resulted in increase in total farm power availability from 0.295 kW/ha in 1971-72 to 1.502 kW/ha in 2005-06 (estimated).
Training of Farmers & Technicians:
The Farm Machinery Training & Testing Institutes (FMTTIs) located at Budni (Madhya Pradesh), Hissar (Haryana), Garladinne (Andhra Pradesh), and Biswanath Chariali (Assam), have been imparting training to farmers, technicians, retired/retiring defence personnel etc., in the selection, operation, maintenance, energy conservation and management of agricultural equipments. These Institutes have also been conducting testing and performance evaluation of various agricultural implements and machines. During the year 2009-10, 5278 persons were trained till 31st March, 2010 against the annual target of 5600 in different courses. The target of training during the Eleventh Plan has been increased to 28,000 from 25,000 during the Tenth Plan. To supplement the efforts of the FMTTIs in human resource development, outsourcing of the training through the SAUs, Agricultural Engineering colleges, polytechnics, etc., has been approved during the X plan. For training of farmers, the identified institutions are reimbursed Rs 5200 per trainee per month, which also includes a stipend of Rs 1200 and to and fro travel expenses by normal mode of transport. The target of training by outsourcing during the Eleventh Plan is 10,000 persons. The physical target for the 2009-10 is to train 2000* farmers.
Testing and Evaluation of Farm Machinery & Equipment:
The Institute at Budni has been authorized to conduct tests on tractors and other agricultural machines; while the institute at Hissar conducts tests on self-propelled combine harvesters, irrigation pumps, plant protection equipment, agricultural implements and other machines including issuing of CMVR certificate of Combine Harvester. The Institute at Garladinne has been authorized to test power-tillers and also conduct tests on various agricultural implements/equipment components. This Institute is being developed as a specialty institute for meeting the mechanization demand in rain-fed and dry land farming systems. The institute at Biswanath Chariali (Assam) tests bullock-drawn implements, manually operated equipment, tractor drawn implements, self propelled machines and small hand tools . For the Eleventh Plan, the target of testing has been kept as 550 machines/tools.
The four FMTTIs altogether have
tested 211 machines of various categories, including tractors,
power-tillers, combine harvesters, reapers,
rotavators and other implements, till 31st March, 2010
against the target of 110 for the year 2009-10. During the remaining
eleventh five year plan2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 an outlay of
Rs. 17.33 crores
for development of FMTTI, Budni for purchase
of major equipments and machines for parallel test line has been made.
Demonstration of Newly Developed Agricultural/Horticultural Equipment
For enhancing production and productivity, as well as for reducing the cost of production, the induction of improved/new technology in the agricultural production system is inescapable. Therefore, with this aspect in view, the demonstration of newly developed agricultural equipment including horticultural equipment at farmers' fields has been included as a component of the restructured scheme. The scheme “Promotion and Strengthening of Agricultural Mechanization through Training, Testing and Demonstration is being implemented during the Eleventh Plan. This scheme envisages conduct of demonstration of improved/newly developed agricultural/ horticultural equipment, identified by the State Governments/Government Organizations at farmers' fields, to acquaint them about their use and utility for production of different types of crops.
During the year 2009-10 (up to 31st December 2009), the number of demonstrations conducted is 7407 covering 2634 hectares with field machines and 13638 hours with stationary machines in which over 1,51,134 farmers participated.
Farm Mechanization Programmes under Macro Management of Agriculture schemes:
Assistance in the form of subsidy at the rate of 25-50 percent of the cost with permissible ceiling limits is made available to the farmers for the purchase of agricultural equipment including hand tools, bullock-drawn/power-driven implements, planting, reaping, harvesting and threshing equipment, tractors, power-tillers and other specialized agricultural machines under the centrally sponsored scheme of Macro Management of Agriculture.
The feedback from the State Governments indicates that during the year 2009-10 (up to 31st March, 2010) 7008 tractors, 4560 power tillers, 103118 hand tools, 2501 bullock-drawn implements, 9401 tractor-driven implements, 4781 self-propelled/power-driven equipment, 5280 plant protection equipment, 5881 irrigation equipment, and 2630 gender-friendly equipment were supplied to the farmers .
State Agro Industries Corporations:
The Government of India had advised the State Governments in the year 1964, to set up State Agro Industries Corporations (SAICs) in the public sector to act as catalysts in providing access to industrial inputs to farmers, for their use in agriculture. Thus, 17 SAICs were set up in the joint sector with equity participation of the Government of India and the respective State Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal during 1965 to 1970. Many of the State Governments have increased their equity participation as a result of which the Government of India, at present, is a minority shareholder. SAICs have since expanded their basic functions by commencing manufacture and marketing of agricultural inputs, implements, machines, after-sales-service, promotion and development of agro-based units/industries. The Government of India is implementing a policy of disinvestment of its shares in SAICs with a view to giving greater decision making power to the state governments by allowing transfer of its shares to state governments on following guidelines:
So far, the Government of India’s shares in SAICs of Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and West Bengal have been transferred to the State Governments concerned. The State Governments of Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir have since agreed, in principle, for transfer of the Government of India’s shares held in these SAICs.
Activities in the North-Eastern States:
A FMTTI has been established at Biswanath Chariali in the Sonitpur district of Assam, to cater to the needs of human resource development in the field of agricultural mechanization and also to assess the quality and performance characteristics of different agricultural implements and machines in the region. The Institute imparted training to 520 persons and tested 15 machines up to 31st March, 2010 during the year 2009-10. The details of various programmes launched in the North-Eastern states during the year 2009-10 are indicated in Annexure - I
The Scheme on ‘Post Harvest Technology and Management’
The scheme on “Post Harvest Technology and Management” is being implemented with an outlay of Rs. 95.00 crore during XI Plan period. Under the scheme the technologies developed by ICAR, CSIR and those identified from within the country and abroad for primary processing, value addition, low cost scientific storage and transport of cereals, pulses, oilseeds, sugarcane, vegetables and fruits and the crop by-product management shall be given a boost. The Scheme will basically focus on the lower end of the spectrum of post harvest management and processing.
The main components of the PHT&M scheme are as under:
a) Establishment of units for transfer of primary processing technology, value addition, low cost scientific storage, packaging units and technologies for by-product management in the production catchments under tripartite agreement.
b) Establishment of low cost Post Harvest Technology (PHT) units/supply of PHT equipments with Government assistance.
c) Demonstration of technologies.
d) Training of farmers, entrepreneurs and scientists.
Gender Friendly Equipment for Women
Under the Central Sector Scheme – ‘Promotion and Strengthening of Agricultural Mechanization through Training, Testing, and Demonstration, during 2009-10, about 2630 gender-friendly equipment have been distributed amongst farm women. Under the scheme for Outsourcing of Training and Demonstration of Newly Developed Agricultural Equipment, including Horticultural Equipment at Farmers’ Fields, separate physical targets have been fixed and 10 per cent of the funds have been allocated for women farmers. During 2009-10 a total of 484 women have been imparted training (till December 2009) at Farm Machinery, Training, and Testing Institutes (FMTTIs). A list of about 30 identified gender-friendly tools and equipment developed by the Research and Development Organization for use in different farm operations has been sent to all states and UTs. for popularizing them. State governments have been directed to earmark 10 per cent of total funds allocated for the training for women farmers. (Annexure-II)
PROGRAMMES OF NORTH-EASTERN STATES DURING 2009-10 (UP TO DECEMBER 2009)
(Rs. in crore)
FLOW OF BENEFITS FOR GENDER COMPONENT UNDER DIFFERENT SECTORS/SCHEMES
OF THE DEPARTMENT