Overview Of Farm Mechanization In Meghalaya

Present Scenario of Farm Mechanization :
    Indian Agriculture is undergoing a gradual shift from dependence on human power and animal power to mechanical power. Mechanical power is largely consumed in big land holdings and is still beyond the reach of small / marginal holdings, as by virtue of their economic condition, the small / marginal farmers are unable to own farm machinery on their own.

    Therefore to bring farm machinery available within the reach of small / marginal farmers, the Department of Agriculture through its Mechanical Wing has been popularizing the use of Agricultural Machineries to the small / marginal farmers of the state. Through the various schemes being implemented by the Department, Agricultural Machineries such as Power Tillers, Tractors, JCBs, Bulldozers and Power Reapers were purchased by the Department for giving out to the farmers on hire at subsidized rates to reduce the input cost of production.

    Loan-cum-Subsidy Scheme is also being implemented by the Department whereby farmers are being provided with subsidy for purchase of Agricultural Machineries such as Power Tillers, Power Reapers, Power Pumps for Irrigation purpose, etc.

    Demonstrations of new and improved machineries are also being conducted by the Department in collaboration with the Dealers to ascertain the machine’s operational feasibility as well as acceptability.

    The present mechanization status in the state is among the least in the country. Therefore, to assist the farmers in getting maximum returns from their land, mechanized activities have to be expanded specially in places with low farm power activity.

Future Prospects of Farm Mechanization :
    There is a growing trend of rural population migrating to the urban areas to earn their living, leading to a huge shortfall in labour required for agricultural activities. Due to this reason, farmers are now turning to Farm Mechanization to fill up this gap.

    The Department also realizing the need to enhance Farm Mechanization domestically, have through the Mechanical Wing undertaken steps to promote the usage of farm machinery by domestic farmers. This is being taken up under the central programme called Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM). Under this programme, farmers are being encouraged to purchase Agricultural Machineries at subsidized rates. Demonstrations of new and improved machineries are also being conducted by the Department at the Farmers Field for the purpose of creating awareness as well as to encourage usage of such machineries.

    Considering the shortfall of farm labour, coupled with the increasing inclination of farmers towards farm mechanization as a result of State/Central Government’s assistance, we can say that the future prospects of Farm Mechanization in the State is very encouraging.

Scope of Improvement :
The main impediments for Farm Mechanization in the State are:-
  • Small and fragmented land holdings
  • High cost of farm equipment ownership
  • Lack of credible financing options for domestic farmers
    The overall land holding in the State is fragmented. A large proportion of this land is held by small and marginal farmers who by virtue of their economic condition are unable to purchase farm machinery on their own. This can be addressed only if the State/Central Government increases their share of assistance to the farmers. Steps must also be taken to ensure that the financial institutions simplify their process for providing assistance to farmers in need of loan for purchase of agricultural machineries.

Status of the Schemes :
I.  Total No. of Agricultural Machineries provided to the farmers of the State under Subsidy Scheme:-
Machines Power Tiller Power Reaper Pump sets Rice Huller Paddy Thresher Winnower Brush Cutter
Numbers 3456 367 575 250 57 385 518


II.  Total No. of Agricultural Machineries hired out to the farmers of the state:-
Machines Power Tiller Tractor Power Reaper JCB Bulldozer Truck
Numbers 156 15 32 2 3 2


State/ Central Schemes being implemented
I. Agriculture Engineering (Mechanical) Plan Scheme
  • Objective of the Scheme:
        The main objective of the Scheme is to bring farm machinery within the reach of small and marginal farmers of the state by popularizing the use of Agricultural Machineries such as Power Tillers, Tractors, Bulldozers, Power Reapers, Power Pumps, Paddy Threshers, etc. which is necessary in view of the scarcity of farm labour as well as to promote farm mechanization in the state, thereby facilitating efficient use of resources and timeliness of agricultural operations.

  • Impact of the Scheme:
        Through this Scheme, Agricultural Machineries were purchased by the Department for giving out to the farmers on hire at 60% subsidized rates, to reduce the input cost of production and also to ensure that the farmers get maximum returns from their land. The implementation of the scheme has greatly benefited the small and marginal farmers of the State who by virtue of their economic condition are unable to purchase Agricultural Machineries on their own. As the present mechanization status in the State is among the least in the country, such mechanized activities have to be expanded, especially in places with low farm power availability.


II. Agriculture Engineering (Workshop) Plan Scheme
  • Objective of the Scheme:
        This scheme aims at supplementing the Agriculture Engineering (Mechanical) Plan Scheme whereby repairing infrastructures are being created within the Department to maintain the Agricultural Machineries that are being hired out to the farmers of the state.

  • Impact of the Scheme:
        Subsequent to the implementation of the Agricultural Engineering (Mechanical) Plan Scheme where Agricultural Machineries such as Power Tillers, Power Reapers, Tractors, Bulldozers, JCB etc. were purchased by the Department for giving out to the farmers on hire at subsidized rates, the necessity to create the infrastructure for housing and repairing of such machineries within the Department is also found necessary to maintain them so as to ensure their operational worthiness and longevity. Hence, the creation of such infrastructures to maintain the agricultural machineries is necessary keeping in mind the huge demand for such machineries from the farming community.


III. Scheme On Supply Of Power Tillers And Pumpsets/Other Agricultural Machineries
  • Objective of the Scheme:
        The Scheme aims at assisting the small and marginal farmers of the State by providing Power Tillers at subsidized rates, thereby increasing production and productivity as well as uplifts the economic condition of the farmers.

  • Impact of the Scheme:
        Agricultural Mechanization helps in increasing production, productivity and profitability in agriculture. Meghalaya being a hilly state and due to its undulating terrain, Power Tillers serves as a key intervention in farming operations. It has also become an integral part of tillage operations in the state due to its topography, small land holdings, ease of operations as well as efficient management of time and resources.
        The implementation of this Scheme would also help in the promotion of Agricultural Mechanization to a great extent as well as ensuring an increase in the farm power penetration in the state, which is only 0.7 Kw/Ha as compared to the national average of 2.0 Kw/Ha.


IV. Sub-Mission On Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM)
To promote the usage of Farm Mechanization and increase the ratio of farm power to cultivable unit area up to 2 Kw/Ha
  • Mission Objectives:
    • Increasing the reach of Farm Mechanization to small and marginal farmers and to the regions where availability of farm power is low.
    • Creating awareness among the Stakeholders through demonstration and capacity building activities.

  • Mission Strategy:
    • Provide financial assistance to farmers for procurement of Farm Machinery and Implements.
    • Promote Farm Mechanization among Stakeholders by way of on-field and off-field training and demonstrations.


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