Farm mechanisation has been known to provide a number of economic and social benefits to farmers. Primary among the economic benefits is the improved yield that comes as a result of greater level of mechanisation. Looming water scarcity crisis along with the need to ensure food security in the country, the benefits of farm mechanisation makes it a crucial component of shaping the future of Indian agriculture
Mechanization Modernization of agriculture requires appropriate machinery for ensuring timely field operations, effective application of agricultural inputs and reducing drudgery in agriculture. India has a very high share of labour (55 %) with lesser contribution to farm mechanisation (40 %). India makes farming less remunerative and leads to farmers’ poverty. While USA (2.5 %) and Western Europe (3.9 %) has very low share of labour in comparison to 95 per cent share of mechanization
Farm mechanization and use of modern gadgets/ machines/ equipments/ tools for timely and effective completion of different operation in agricultural field is one of the most important factors for maximizing profitability. Smaller machines suitable for horticultural operations in the hills and mountains will also enhance operation effectiveness and farm income. Farm mechanization will help to enhance the overall productivity and reduces input cost 15-20 per cent savings in seeds, 15- 20 per cent savings in fertilizers, 5-20 increase in cropping intensity, 20-30 per cent savings in time, 20- 30 per cent reduction in manual labour and 10- 15 per cent overall increase in farm productivity. Use of Modern Irrigation Methods Availability of water is most critical for increasing the productivity in agriculture.
In India, around 78 per cent water goes to the agriculture sector, while the remaining part shared out between drinking, industry and other usage. Irrigation is crucial to the global food supply as the 18 per cent of the world’s irrigated farmland yields 40 percent of the world’s food. Still, less than 4 per cent of the world’s irrigated land is equipped with micro-irrigation systems. There is need to adopt modern methods of irrigation like drip and sprinkler irrigation. Compared with conventional flood or furrow irrigation, drip methods can reduce the volume of water applied to fields by up to 70 percent, while increasing crop yields by 20-90 per cent.
Some key advantages of farm mechanization are:
Increase in crop intensity and yield thus ensuring better returns to the farmer
Reduction of weather risk and risk of non-availability of labor thus minimizing post harvest wastages
Improved working conditions and enhanced safety for the farmer
Conversion of uncultivable land to agricultural land through advanced tilling technologies
Shifting land used for feed and fodder cultivation for draught animals towards food grain production
One of the main contentions of increased farm mechanisation has been that it has affected farm level employment. However, historic trends indicated the contrary.
At the same time, the contribution of human labour to farm power increased close to 50 per cent during the same period.
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