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Level of mechanisation in farming below 50%

With shortage of labour for agricultural operations owing to rural urban migration, shift from agriculture to services and rise in demand for labour in nonfarm activities, there is need to use labour for agricultural operations judiciously.

By Niti Kiran        Last Updated: February 26, 2016  | 17:17 IST
Level of mechanisation in farming below 50%

The level of farm mechanisation in India requires more to be done in terms of introduction of better equipment for each farming operation in order to reduce drudgery, to improve efficiency by saving on time and labour, improve productivity, minimise wastage and reduce labour costs for each operation.

With shortage of labour for agricultural operations owing to rural urban migration, shift from agriculture to services and rise in demand for labour in nonfarm activities, there is need to use labour for agricultural operations judiciously, which makes a strong case for mechanisation of farming.

Another notable aspect of Indian agriculture is the high proportion of female workforce in both the cultivation and processing stages of farming. Therefore, ergonomically designed tools and equipment for reducing drudgery, enhancing safety and comfort and also to suit the needs of women workers would help in better adoption of technologies in agriculture.

The overall level of mechanization in farming is below 50 per cent in the case of majority of the farming operations in India.

According to the Agricultural Machinery and Manufacturers Association in India, tractor penetration is 38 per cent for large farmers (with more than 20 acres), 18 per cent for medium farmers (5-20 acres) and just around 1 per cent for marginal farmers. With increase in fragmentation of landholdings and low rates of tractor penetration among small farmers, there is need for a market in tractor rentals, akin to cars and road construction equipment, driven by private participation.

With suitable mobile and internet applications, manufacturers of tractors along with other stakeholders need to deliberate on this, since it will also increase demand for tractors.


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