By mechanising agriculture, government plans to create business opportunities for rural youth & to educate and employ existing farmers.
‘Farm Mechanisation’ is an important highlight of GRAM (Global Rajasthan Agriculture Meet) 2016 that focuses on using cutting-edge machinery to boost agricultural productivity. It has surfaced as a necessity in times of inflation and scarcity of skilled farm labour. The efficiency of mechanized agriculture can be judged from the fact that efficient tools like tractors (compared to indigenous ploughs) can increase crop productivity by 30%. Many farmers in Rajasthan experience financial constraints due to unavailability of proper resources. Offering them education, technical skills and sophisticated tools shall enable them to develop multi-crop farmlands and agro-based businesses, making agriculture an attractive method of earning livelihood.
Rajasthan Government will Pitch For Mechanisation in GRAM 2016
GRAM 2016, scheduled from 9 to 11 November in Jaipur, aims at doubling food production by 2020. By introducing the concept of mechanized agriculture, Rajasthan government aims to:
- Prevent migration of native farmers to neighbouring states, in search of livelihood,
- Educated farmers about methods that can save time/efforts and increase efficiency of agricultural practices,
- Display latest models of agricultural tools, with detailed specifications and user instructions,
- Attract more youths towards agriculture and associated industries,
- Prepare farmers as future entrepreneurs.
Efficient farm machineries will speed up almost all the agricultural procedures like land preparation, harvest processing, post-harvest management, irrigation, conservation, grading and sorting of seeds, application of fertilisers and pesticides, waxing/polishing, packaging, storage and transportation of crops.
Custom Hiring Centres for Harnessing More Economic Opportunities
Following in footsteps of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan will encash CHCs to rent out resources to marginal farmers. This machinery will:
- Trim down costs of cultivation
- Reduce manual labour
- Compensate for labour shortage
Additionally, the agriculturists will be trained to utilize these resources and skilled youths will be employed for managing these centres.
As per experts, social benefits associated with CHCS outweighs the total start-up cost because crop productivity increases by 20%. These centres will go a long way in facilitating farmers with appropriate help.
Plasticulture for Improving Existing Irrigation Systems
Plasticulture is the use of high-quality plastics and films (like Polyethylene or PE) for different agricultural practices. These ‘agro plastics’ include poly houses, mulching tunnels, irrigation drip sprinklers/tubing/tape, nursery pots, soil fumigation films and silage bags.
In a state like Rajasthan that receives low annual rainfall, every single drop of water plays an important role in plant growth. To make agriculture more efficient, the government plans to use plasticulture for drip and sprinkle irrigation systems. The Benefits?
- Crop yield improves by 50%
- Increased water savings up to 70%
- Fertiliser savings up to 40%
- Photosynthetic prevention of excessive weed growth
- PE is flexible and more affordable than regular chemicals
- Plastic can be modified with other elements to prevent water loss and insect damage, maintain soil moisture and provide UV stabilization.
With installation of sprinklers and enhanced usage of tractors in recent years, Rajasthan has witnessed a significant shift in agriculture. GRAM 2016 is a solid step in this direction, which intends to gradually eliminate a farmer’s dependency on animals and manual labour. When farmers invest less time in mainstream agriculture, they can take up other agro-activities like poultry, cattle rearing, fruit plantation, thus earning additional income. Currently, government is speeding up investments in mechanized agriculture for farmers to enjoy a stable market economy, as entrepreneurs.