Agriculture in India has strongly imprinted its presence at the global level. Today, India is world’s one of the top countries in terms of production of rice, wheat, fruits, sugarcane and vegetables. Despite of remarkable growth, the agricultural sector continues to witness the problem of shortage of labour and stagnant productivity per hectare.
On the better side of this, our farmers are fast adopting modern farm equipment & mechanisation. It is estimated that use of proper farm machinery can increase agricultural productivity by up to 30% while reducing the cost by an average of 20%. However, the growth of sale in tractors cannot be solely considered a key indicator of farm mechanisation in India.
The Focus is More on Tractor-isation!
Indian farmers have embraced agricultural machinery to increase overall yield and minimise production & labour cost in the long term. However, India’s agricultural sector has seen only a part of mechanisation with use of tractors. Over the years, tractor penetration has grown exponentially from one per 150 hectares to one per 30 hectares. Unfortunately, such notable market growth has not been seen in other divisions of farm equipment.
FY2018 closed with a whopping 22% growth with a sales volume of 711,478 tractors across India. in FY19, the tractor industry is expected to see growth of another 8-10%. This showcases a growing trend of tractor-isation in the country. The primary reason behind this is lack of knowledge and unwillingness of commercial banks to finance other farm equipment like tillage implements, threshers, seed drillers, etc.
What Other Segments Add to Farm Mechanisation?
Farm mechanisation is not just about tractors. There are various other farm machinery and equipment that can significantly boost productivity, minimise labour time & cost and improve agricultural yield.
1. Power Tillers
Power tillers combine the versatility of tillage implements and performance or comfort of a tractor. Before planting crops or sowing seeds, it is important to prepare the land to make it more fertile and cultivable. The process of efficiently turning and mixing the soil is known as tilling. Power tillers ensure evenly tilling the soil, making it ideal for cultivation. The biggest advantages are:
- Significantly reduce the time and effort needed to prepare a land before harvesting
- Can be used for weeding, creating trenches and pesticide or fertiliser application
- Ensures higher yield
2. Seed cum Fertiliser Drill
Effective seed sowing and fertilisation is the key to better crop yield and quality. And when this laborious task is made at ease, it adds to a farmer’s productivity. Seed cum fertiliser drill is used for simultaneous seed sowing and fertilisation via a single machine.
3. Power Weeder
Power weeding machine performs the key task of removing weeds from an agricultural land, orchards or vegetable gardens. These are power operated and enhance convenience and comfort of weeding.
4. Thresher cum Collector
This is another innovation in the field of farm mechanisation. A mobile thresher is mounted on a two-wheel tractor and is used for threshing as it moves around the land. It can significantly reduce labour cost and time.
5. Solar Powered Water Pumps
The machine uses solar energy to effectively pump water which is used to irrigate the land. The energy-efficient farm equipment can help the farmers save more.
Effective Research & Development, knowledge and better financing opportunities can pave way for all-around agricultural mechanisation in India.