Developing human resources and generation of self-employment by way of providing skill-oriented training in the agricultural sector is important aspect. Keeping this in view, Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institutes (FMTTIs) have been established at Budni (M.P.) in 1955, Hissar (Haryana) in 1963, Garladinne, District Anantapur in 1983 and Biswanath Chariali (Assam) in 1990. These Institutes have since then engaged in developing human resource for agricultural mechanization. The FMTTIs have been conducting different types of training programmes in the selection, operation, repair/maintenance and management of farm machinery for the benefit of nominees of Central/State Governments, Private Organization, retired/retiring Defence Personnel, technician, rural youth, farmers and engineering graduates. Trainees admitted under User Level Courses at these institutes are paid stipend @ Rs. 1200/- per month per trainee to cover boarding expenses for a month and to defray to and fro travel expenditure, on actual basis by ordinary mode of transport.
To supplement efforts of FMTTIs in human resource development and to train large number of farmers at nearby places with a view to develop and improve upon technical know-how of users of agricultural implements and machines for its proper and effective utilization, Outsourcing of training is being done through institutions identified by State Governments such as SAUs, Agricultural Engineering Colleges, ICAR institutions, Polytechnics, etc. Financial assistance @ Rs.5200/- per farmer per month is provided to institutions identified for training which includes stipend of Rs. 1200/- per farmer per month of training, actual to and fro travel expenses by ordinary mode of transport in ordinary class, upto maximum of Rs. 300/- per farmer, boarding and Lodging Charges @ Rs. 1200/- per farmer per month and Institutional charges (including stationary, training material, honorarium) @ Rs. 2500/- per farmer per month.
Improved and quality agricultural implements and machines play a pivotal role in sustainable development of agriculture and enhancement of crop productivity. Therefore, identification of quality and need based agricultural machines/equipments are of paramount importance. Quality is also a critical factor in accessing competitive new markets for the manufacturers. The FMTTIs have been engaged in testing of agricultural machines and implements with the objectives of assessing suitability of machines to Indian conditions, educating clientele on comparative performance of various machines, providing data and material to extension workers for guiding farmers, helping financial institutions in more effectively financing their schemes of assistance for procurement of machinery. The institutes also assist in grant of BIS Certification, contribute to export promotion through assessing conformity of product to ISO/OECD specifications and carry out Batch Testing programme to help manufacturers in product improvement thereby providing better equipment to farmers.
The Budni institute is the only National Designated Authority in the country to test tractors as per the OECD Standards. The Budni and Hissar Institutes have also been authorized for certifying the self propelled machines against the statutory requirements under Central Motor Vehicle Rules and the facility for testing of engines for emission of exhaust gases has been commissioned at Budni institute.
With a view to make available quality agricultural implements and machines to the farmers under various Government assisted programmes and schemes, the State Governments have been advised to ensure the quality of machines before they are supplied to the farmers. Keeping in view the huge demand for testing, the testing of some equipment has also been decentralized and the State Governments may test the equipment, if considered necessary, through institutions such as any Department of SAU, any Engineering College, ICAR institutions, KVK or any other research institute designated by the State Governments to undertake such activity. The test reports released by these designated institutions may be relied upon by all the State Governments.
For improving adoption of technologies for crop production, it is necessary to properly demonstrate utility of technologies to farmers for achieving higher production and productivity. Therefore, with objective of induction of improved/new technology in agricultural production system, demonstration of newly developed agricultural/ horticultural equipments at the farmersí fields have been introduced 100% grant-in-aid is given to the implementing agencies i.e State Governments/UTs and Government organizations like ICAR and State Farm Corporation of India (SFCI0 for procurement and demonstration of identified equipment.
In order to make available various agricultural implements and machines at cheaper rates, assistance in the form of subsidy @ 25%to 50% of the cost of equipment/machine with permissible ceiling limits is available to all category of farmers for the purchase of various agricultural equipments under various schemes of the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation such as Macro Management of Agriculture, National Food Security Mission, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, National Horticulture Mission etc.
Incentives in the form of subsidy is supported through the RKVY and Macro Management Schemes so that the established Farm Machinery Banks would make available costly equipment to the farmer and would supplement the efforts of the Government in extending appropriate mechanization in the country, make available different input supply and services to needy farmers, provide gainful employment to rural unemployed youth, resulting in timeliness of farm operations thus ultimately leading to increase in production and productivity.
The post harvest management is promoted by way of establishment of post harvest technologies in the production catchments under the bilateral agreement of ICAR and Self Help Group (SHG)/User Groups (UG) of farmers/Cooperative Societies of Farmers/Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) with 40% assistance from the Government and remaining 60% coming from the beneficiary.
Establishment of low cost Post Harvest Technology (PHT) with Government assistance @ 40% of the total cost of technology/project is also supported and the technologies involving initial project investment upto Rs. 2 lakh may be opted by individual farmer.
Demonstration of the crop/area specific post harvest technologies is also being undertaken through State Governments, All India Coordinated Research Projects on Post Harvest Technology Centres and KVKs of ICAR, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)Extension Centres and State Agricultural Universities. The Government provides 100 percent grant to meet the expenses towards purchase and establishment of technologies/equipments and contingency expenditures for demonstrations.
Financial assistance @ Rs. 2600/- per farmer per week and Rs. 3000/- per entrepreneur/scientist per week is also provided to the institutions identified for training of farmers, entrepreneurs and scientist on post harvest Management.
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