Due to shortage in farm workers, farmers are not in a position to undertake various field operations in time. Hence, modernization of agriculture through Agricultural Mechanization is inevitable. Availability of farm power coupled with efficient and judicious use of farm implements/ machinery enable efficient utilization of various inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, plant protection chemicals and water for irrigation besides eliminating the drudgery in various farm operations from land preparation to post harvest technology and value addition. Productivity of the farm depends considerably on the availability of farm power and its efficient use. The States which have higher farm power availability per hectare show higher productivity. The Agricultural Mechanization is the only way out to face the challenge of farm workers' shortage. The educated youth feel discouraged to work in farms due to human drudgery. Migration of farm workers from rural to urban areas for other works is a common phenomenon. Farm mechanization has been helpful to bring about significant improvement in agricultural productivity by bridging the demand-supply gap of farm workers. The increase in food grains production is possible only when heavy demand for tractors, power tillers and other Agricultural machinery / implements by the farmers are met.
During the year 2011-12, a total of 3,438 crop based machineries had been given to 1283 PACCS by the Agricultural Engineering Department at a cost of Rs.2,536.50 lakhs for hiring out to individual farmers / farmers group.
Agricultural Mechanisation Programme under National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP)
The agricultural machinery/implements such as Multi crop thresher, paddy transplanter, nursery media filling machine, post hole digger, planters, tree pruners, tractor and power tiller driven equipments etc., are given to the individual farmers under NADP with subsidy assistance as per Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) guidelines.
This facilitates the farmers to take up the timely sowing, transplanting, weeding, plant protection and harvesting in order to enhance the agricultural production and productivity. The acute farm workers shortage is being mitigated by increased use of farm machinery/implements. During 2011-2012, subsidy assistance of Rs.2,704.47 lakhs has been given to farmers for purchasing 8,593 Nos.of agricultural machinery and implements. During 2012-13, subsidy assistance of Rs.7,431.11 lakhs has been given to farmers for purchasing of 90,931 agricultural machinery / implements / trays. During 2013-14, a subsidy assistance of Rs.4,799.82 lakhs was provided to the farmers towards the distribution of 14,343 Nos. of Agricultural Machinery and Implements along with 39,740 Nos. of trays for raising rice nursery.
During the year 2014-15, 10653 nos agricultural Machinery/implements were distributed to the farmers at a total subsidy amount of Rs.2999.67 lakhs
Formation of farmers groups including free package of machinery and Training on operation and maintenance of farm machinery
The State Government has initiated sincere steps in the last two years to form farmers’ groups in all districts for distribution of machineries after giving training on operation and maintenance of various farm machineries. For the last two years, 59 farmers’ groups were formed and 360 nos of farm machinery have been purchased at a cost of
Rs.352.46 lakhs and imparting training on operation and maintenance of farm machinery at a cost of Rs.18.65 lakhs to the farmers’ groups.
During the year 2014-15, to help the farmers to increase the area under kuruvai and also to increase the agricultural production and productivity, totally 200 Nos. of Paddy Transplanters and Paddy Power Weeders were purchased at a total cost of Rs.392.2 Lakhs and Rs.48.40 Lakhs respectively and handed over freely to the Farmers Group formed in Delta Districts namely Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Trichy and Ariyalur Districts by the Agriculture Department.
Demonstration of newly developed Agricultural Machinery and Implements
Through conduct of extensive field demonstrations at farmers’ field, efforts are taken to popularize newly developed agricultural machinery / implements such as raised bed planter, laser land leveller, sugarcane trash shredder, tractor operated leaf shredder, self propelled paddy transplanter, power weeder, zero till seed drill, Turmeric harvester, Tractor PTO driven two row turmeric digger with elevator etc., among the farmers.
During the last two years, 1,041 demonstrations of farm machinery / implements have been conducted at a total cost of Rs.31.23 lakhs and farm implements worth of Rs.13.66 lakhs were purchased for purpose of conducting demonstrations. During 2014-15, the scheme was implemented in 30 districts of Tamilnadu with a financial outlay of Rs.11.12 Lakhs for conducting 371 Nos.of Demonstrations.
Training programme to farmers in the field of Agricultural Mechanisation
Advancement in agricultural machinery and implements technology used for paddy and sugarcane cultivation, plant protection equipment’s, machinery for dry land agriculture and conjunctive use of water through Micro Irrigation systems are exposed to the farmers and rural youth for streamlining the application of Agricultural Machinery / Implements used in various farm operations through refresher course trainings. Awareness among stakeholders is created for promoting farm mechanization in a big way in addition to imparting the first hand experience on Repair and Maintenance of Agricultural Machinery.
During 2011-12 onwards, 240 training programmes have been conducted at a cost of Rs. 67.02 lakhs.
Training to rural youth on Operation, Repair and Maintenance of the newly developed Agricultural Machinery / Implements
Skilled man power engaged in the repair and maintenance of the commonly used agricultural machinery / implements is shrinking day by day on one side and another side, advanced hi-tech, hi-value and hi-productive agricultural machinery / implements are getting popularisation among the farmers. To inculcate the rural youth in skill power development, a three months training programmes on the repair and maintenance of Tractors / agricultural machinery / implements are implemented. The reputed firms have given job opportunities to some of these trained rural youth in the past. Training programmes to rural youth on operation and maintenance of the newly developed agricultural machinery / implements are conducted in six workshops functioning at Tiruvarur, Vellore, Coimbatore, Trichy, Madurai and Tirunelveli. During 2011-2012 onwards, 544 training programmes are conducted at a total cost of Rs.69.64 lakhs. .
Agricultural Mechanisation Programme under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Macro Management of Agriculture.
The scheme of popularising agricultural machinery / implements in agriculture was implemented under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Macro Management of Agriculture with the financial assistance from the Centre and State Government on 90:10 basis. Under this scheme, subsidy assistance is provided to farmers to purchase Tractors, Power Tillers and Rotavators as per the norms of the Government of India guidelines. During the past three years, a sum of Rs.1,628.57 lakhs has been given as subsidy assistance to farmers to purchase of 3,946 agricultural machinery such as Tractors, Power Tillers and Rotavators. This programme has been withdrawn by Government of India and subsumed under SMAM.
Agricultural Mechanisation Programme under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation
Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation, the Agricultural Mechanisation Programme was implemented during the year 2014-15 with the financial assistance from the Centre and State Government is 75:25. The sharing patten between central and state has been changed as 50:50 from the year 2015-16. The main objectives of this scheme are increasing the reach of farm mechanisation to small and marginal farmers and to the regions where availability of farm power is low, offsetting adverse ‘economies of scale’ and ‘higher cost of ownership’ of high value farm equipment by promoting “Custom Hiring Centre” for agricultural machinery and passing on the benefit of hi-tech, high value and hi-productive agricultural machinery to farmers through creating hubs for such farm equipment.
The Mission Components are
Promotion and Strengthening of Agricultural Mechanization through Training, Testing and Demonstration
Demonstration, Training and Distribution of Post Harvest Technology and Management (PHTM)
Financial Assistance for Procurement of Agricultural Machinery and Equipment
Establishment of Farm Machinery Banks for Custom Hiring
Establishment of Hi-Tech, High Productive Equipment Hub for Custom Hiring
Promotion of Farm Mechanisation in Selected Villages and
Financial Assistance for Promotion of Mechanized operations/hectare carried out through Custom Hiring Centres.
Under this scheme, subsidy assistance is provided to the farmers for the purchase of tractor, power tiller, Rice transplanter, specialized self propelled machinery, self propelled horticultural machinery, tractor/power tiller (below 20 BHP) driven equipments, tractor (above 20 to 35 BHP) driven equipments, tractor (above 35 BHP) driven equipments, manual / animal drawn equipments / implements / tools, plant protection equipments and other important agricultural implements / machinery. From the year 2014-15, this scheme is being implemented with a financial outlay of Rs.1080.00 Lakhs for the components namely 1) Farm Machinery Testing Centre at Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Kumulur, Trichy District for an amount of Rs 135.00 Lakhs 2) Financial Assistance for procurement of tractors by the farmers for an amount of Rs 295.00 Lakhs and 3) Establishment of Farm machinery banks for Custom hiring for an amount of Rs 650.00 Lakhs. .
Establishment of Farm machinery Banks for Custom Hiring (Upto Rs 25.00 Lakhs).
To develop efficient custom hiring and custom servicing in farming operations and to reduce the burden of ownership of equipments on the farmers, agricultural machinery/implements custom hiring centres are being created at block level in Tamilnadu. During the year 2014-15, an amount of Rs 650.00 lakhs was allotted and the Scheme is being implemented in the current year also under Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization towards the implementation of the scheme of Establishment of 65 Nos of Farm Machinery Banks for Custom hiring (upto Rs 25.00 Lakhs) with the subsidy assistance of 40% of the total unit cost or a maximum amount of Rs.10.00 Lakhs per centre. The 60% of the balance amount of Rs.15.00 Lakhs per centre will be the beneficiary group contribution
Demonstration of Pulses and Millets Machinery at Farmers Field.
With the goal of promoting mechanization in post harvest management system, reducing the losses of perishable farm produce during storage period, implementing latest technologies for value addition of farm product and preserve its quality, disseminating and adoption of new technologies among farmers and also for popularising the agricultural machinery/ implements among the Small / Marginal / SC / ST / Women / Other farmers through demonstration, Post Harvest Technology and Management scheme is implemented in Tamil Nadu from the year 2013-14 with 100 % Central Government assistance under the Central Sector Scheme. During the year 2014-15, an amount of Rs.186 lakhs was sanctioned towards the purchase of Multi-crop thresher, Maize Husker Sheller and Mini Dhal Mill for conducting demonstrations and the Scheme is being implemented in the current year also. After the completion of demonstration for at least 12 months, the above machinery will be handed over to the SHG / TANWABE/ User Group/Farmers group/WUA/Commodity group in each district at 50% of the cost price of the machinery. The scheme is proposed to be implemented during 2014-15 in 30 districts of Tamil Nadu
Promoting Rural Youth group in Farm Mechanization in Vellore District
During the year 2014-15, an amount of Rs. 410.00 lakhs was allotted under NADP to Vellore District towards the implementation of the scheme of “Promoting Rural Youth group in Farm Mechanization in Vellore District”for the supply and distribution of agricultural machinery and implements to the groups with 80% subsidy assistance with a maximum ceiling limit of Rs.8.00 Lakhs so that more area could be brought under mechanized cultivation. An amount of Rs.409.92 lakhs was spent towards the implementation of the programme. Under this scheme, the capacity building component is also included. The rural youth group will in turn hire out their agricultural machinery to the needy farmers on nominal hire charge basis.