Journal ID : AMA-14-06-2022-11460
[This article belongs to Volume - 53, Issue - 06]
Total View : 447

Title : Agricultural Mechanization for Smallholders Farmers Ensuring a Sustainable rise in Farm Productivity and Income in North West India

Abstract :

Smallholder farmers are the main producers of the world’s food and they will have to increase production by up to 100 percent by 2050 to feed the growing population. The focus is on farm mechanization for increasing productivity through judicious use of other inputs and natural resources and at the same time reducing the cultivation cost. The overall farm mechanization in India has been lower at 40-45 per cent compared to other countries such as USA (95 per cent), Brazil (75 per cent) and China (57 per cent). The challenge is to get sustainable mechanization available to farmers so that the poverty cycle can be broken and improved livelihoods ensue. Indian agriculture is diverse and capable of producing most of the food and horticultural crops of the world. In spite of its top ranking in production of a number of crops including rice, wheat, sugarcane, fruits and vegetables, the stagnancy in productivity and shortage of agricultural produce are two major bottlenecks of Indian agriculture. Several studies suggest a direct correlation between farm mechanization and crop productivity. It saves inputs like seeds and fertilizers by 15–20%, labour requirement and operational time by 20–30%, increases cropping intensity by 5–20% and crop productivity by 10–15%. At present, Indian farmers are adopting farm mechanization at a faster rate in comparison to recent past. Farm power availability from tractors has grown from 0.007 kW/ha in 1960–61 to 1.03 kW/ha in 2013–14 and it is further estimated to reach 3.74 kW/ha by 2032–33. According to the World Bank estimates, half of the total Indian population would be in urban areas by 2050. It is further estimated that the percentage of farm workers of total work force would reduce to 49.9% in 2033 and 25.7% in 2050 from 54.6% in 2011. The share of agricultural workers in total power availability in 1960-61 was about 16.3%, which is going to reduce to 2.3% in 2032–33. The overall level of farm mechanization in the country is only 40–45% and 90% of the total farm power is contributed by mechanical and electrical power sources. The smallholder farm sector demand for mechanization needs to be raised to stimulate the product value chain and activate input supply (that is to raise farm productivity, stimulate value addition, and encourage private sector custom hire service provision). The sustainability of mechanization from a natural resource conservation point of view is discussed with reference to conservation agriculture principles. Mechanization appropriate for the smallholder sector covers the range of possible power sources human, draft animal and motorized. The study indicated that with mechanization, the demand for hired labour increased while participation of family labour in crop production declined. To sum up, agricultural mechanization studies had shown that farm mechanization led to increase in inputs due to higher average cropping intensity, larger area and increased the productivity of farm labour. Furthermore, farm mechanization increased agricultural productivity and profitability on account of timeliness of operations, better quality of work and more efficient utilization of crop inputs.

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