Transformation of Indian Agriculture through Mechanization

Radhey Shyam Singh
Journal article Economic Affairs • June 2019 China • India

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(English, 8 pages)

Abstract

India accounts for only about 2.4 % of the world’s geographical area and 4 % of its water resources, but has to support about 17 % of the world’s human population and 15 % of the livestock. Agriculture is an important sector of the Indian economy, accounting for 17% of the nation’s GDP, about 11% of its exports, about half of the population still relies on agriculture as its principal source of income and it is a source of raw material for a large number of industries. Accelerating the growth of agriculture production is therefore necessary to meet the rising demand for food, but also to increase incomes of those dependent on agriculture to ensure inclusiveness. The productivity of farms depends greatly on the availability and judicious use of farm power by the farmers. Agricultural implements and machines enable the farmers to employ the power judiciously for production purposes. Agricultural machines increase productivity of land and labour by meeting timeliness of farm operations and increase work out-put per unit time. Besides its paramount contribution to the multiple cropping and diversification of agriculture, mechanization also enables efficient utilization of inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and irrigation water. Mechanization in agriculture enhances production and productivity of crops through timeliness, better management of inputs, improved quality of work and reduction of post-harvest losses. The study revealed that the domestic sale of tractor is the highest (45.41%) for the 41-50 hp range followed by 36 % for the 31-40 hp range during 2015-16. The demand of high power category tractors in India increased for using high capacity farm machines on custom hiring basis. The states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra together account for about 45.21% of the total tractors sale in India during 2015-16. The net area sown by a tractor was 487 ha during 1975-76 and reduced to 24 ha by 2015-16 that still lags behind the developed countries and even some of the developing countries of the world (e.g. China) in terms of the net area sown by a tractor. Farm power availability of India was 0.48 kW/ha in 1975-76 reached to 2.13 kW/ha in 2015-16, which is 4.44 times higher over a period of forty years. A positive direct correlation was found between available farm power, food grain productivity and cropping intensity for the country. With the increase in intensity of cropping, the turnaround time is drastically reduced and it is not possible to harvest and thresh the standing crop, on one hand, and prepare seed bed and do timely sowing operations of subsequent crop, on the other hand, in the limited time available, unless adequate farm power and matching implement is available.

 

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Economic Affairs

Economic Affairs, Quarterly Journal of Economics, is a Peer-Review publication based on multi-dis... see more