Mechanization of agriculture launched a new farming revolution in the agrarian country India decades ago. Tractors have been the main torchbearers, as even the small farmers opting for these farm machines. However, the scene is now changing with power tillers grabbing more eyeballs to some actually valid reasons. The machines debuted in the early 1980s and their sales reached around 25,000 units per year during 2005-06 (Source: Ibef.org) and almost doubled to around 55,000 units per year in 2015-16 (Source: Indiaagristate.com).
It is now easy to understand how these walking-tractors are apt for the country which experiences huge inconsistencies in terms of land holding sizes as well as in farming terrains. Here are some benefits of these equipments that hold relevance in particular for the Indian farmers.
Perfect for Small and Marginal Land Holdings
Out of the total cultivation land in India, about 85% constitute marginal (less than 1 hectare) and small (1-2 hectares) holdings (Source: Factly.in). In such a scenario, tractors with high horse power prove to be impractical for use over such small farmlands. Tillers, on the other hand, perfectly fit these small sizes where the horse power requirement is as low as 8-15.
Meeting the Costs
Tillers are significantly less expensive than tractors that are usually unaffordable for a large number of farmers in India. For example, the popular models like Mega T power tiller costs between 1.5-2 lakhs while the starting cost for even a mini tractor is around 2.5 lakhs. In addition, tillers also save the operational costs through lower fuel consumption (around 1.25 litres/hour) than tractors (around 2 litres/hour).
As far as maintenance costs are concerned, tillers call for lower repair expenses. In fact, carrying out tasks like daily cleaning, fuel level inspections and regular engine oil replacement can easily prevent the maintenance costs.
Designed for Diverse Terrains
The best selling models like KMW power tiller can work for both, the wet land as well as the dry land applications. It has been reported that the north-eastern state like Meghalaya, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have huge demand for these machines and why not? Tillers work like no other implement on the hilly and terraced farming setups where tractors prove to be unusable.
Answer to Extensive Drudgery
A power tiller can easily address the growing concern of agricultural labour shortage and drudgery. In fact, it can save the labour of about 20 human labourers and 8 bulls per day. By performing multiple tasks, it can save the efforts of not just men, but also those of women, freeing them for other chores. Not only that, the output from the use of these implements is significantly better in terms of quality and quantity.
The Multi-utility Equipments
A power tiller can attach a number of devices, from seeders and ploughs to planters and spraying systems to itself. In short, it can perform a variety of tasks like ploughing, sowing, water pumping and furrowing as well as fertilizing, harvesting and threshing. You can also expect it to be useful in transportation too.
Top-class Design and Performance Benefits
The modern-age equipments like Kirloskar power tiller are designed ergonomically to ensure maximum comfort and safety to the user. Also light in weight, these are easy to control and have smooth manoeuvrability. These models also have additional features like hour meter and mobile charger. In terms of performance, these promise benefits like loose and deep tillage and low soil compaction.
The Indian Government offers subsidy on power tillers which bring them within the reach of more farmers. There is need for the indigenous models to gain increased acceptance over the low-cost but low-quality Chinese models and it is expected to happen soon.