New Delhi, Dec 15 (ANI): Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today underlined the need for intensifying farm mechanisation efforts in the country through consolidation of existing schemes and additional strengthening in terms of new programmes, human resource development and infrastructure.
Addressing the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry here, Pawar said that the R and D and promotion of farm mechanization should be implemented through a mission mode in view of its impact on productivity, profitability and sustainability of the agriculture.
"The emphasis should be on R and D in emerging key areas, enhancement of energy efficient mechanized operations, promotion of custom hiring, cooperative management of farm machinery and training to village artisans in operation and maintenance of tractors and allied machinery," he added.
Emphasising that small and marginal farms constitute the core of Indian agriculture, Pawar said: " However, mechanizing small and disjointed group of farms is against economies of scale especially in operations like land preparation and harvesting."
"With continued shrinkage in average farm size, more and more farms will fall into adverse category thereby making individual ownership of agricultural machinery progressively more uneconomical. Custom hiring based business models need to be worked out with adequate institutional credit support for such enterprises," he added
Pawar further said that sustained efforts of R and D institutions, industry and government support have resulted in a number of successful mechanization initiatives and achievements over the past two decades.
He informed the Members that India is the world leader in the production of tractor with over 4.5 lakh tractors produced annually.
"Single run machines such as rotavator, zero till drill, harvesters and combines have made a significant impact on agricultural operations," he added. (ANI)