Monday 20 February 2012

Farm implements for Agriculture: Need of the hour in labour crunched Area.

       In Tripura, more than fifty percent of total populations are directly or indirectly involved in Agriculture sector.
      However, gross state domestic product of the state is not up to the mark due to several factors; one amongst the factor that affected in the growth of gross state domestic product is agriculture sector.
       Agriculture sector is not performing efficiently or performing in the expected level due to several reasons one amongst them is labour shortage in agriculture sector in certain agriculture dominant areas of the state.
      Farm labour shortage in agriculture sector is due to socio-economic changes and also various populist schemes of the Government.
       At present, there are several schemes for improving the livelihood of rural people like; MGNREGA, which assures certain yearly wage employment to the rural poor.
       In addition, there are schemes like supplying rice, flour and atta in subsidized rate.
       The positive side of all these populist schemes is assured wage employment so is sure cash which helped them to lift subsidized rice, flour and atta with at ease.
       The other sides of the populist schemes are; rural folk who otherwise would primary employ themselves to the agriculture sector have shifted their focus on these assured schemes and other non-agricultural activities. There is also growing tendencies for overlooking the farming works.
       This has affected farmers’ directly; timely labour employment for farming operation has become very difficult and if ascertained also, farmers have to employ farm labours in increased wages. This has affected over all farm productivity and profitability.
       Now, the burden of farm labour shortage has been highly affected the farmers for his farm continuity and profitability.
       The best way to deal with the situation may be through mechanizing the farm through improved farm implements.
       Of course, some kinds of mechanism are already in place like power tiller, weeder, rice transplanter, paddy harvestor and thrasher.
       But, all these facilities in place are still in the early stage of adoption as far as their mass usage and utilities are concerned.
       It is expected that in the days to come, the farm labour scenario would not improve; in this case, going alternative option by means of farm implements would only be the choice of option.
       It is already experienced through power tiller a kind of farm implements for tillage operation that it can reduce the time of field operation quite significantly.
    It is generally believed that though power tiller, field preparation that is tillage operation can be completed within couple of hour’s time in case of first tillage however, by second tillage, time requirement is further reduced due to softness of first tilt field.
       However, another complains that is heard whispering is; depth at which field is tilt through power tiller is not adequate. Farmers who are used to bullock pulled ploughing are little apprehensive on the power tiller efficiency due to non-adequate reaching of power tiller blade to the desired depth.
       However, power tiller popularity has fairly taken a grip in the state but, the time has come for more powerful and efficient farm implements for increasing farming activities in the state.
       In other agriculture pre-dominant state some progressive farmers have already sided with heavy farm machinery like tractor, combined harvester etc for bringing more efficiency in farm operations and farm productivity.
       However, present farming scenario of the state does not suits for all these heavy farm implements looking to the size of farm holding and cropping activities.
       But, some of the farm implements as indicated above had already given some sigh reliefs to the farmers facing difficulties on farm labour shortage. Farm implements like tractor would be highly suitable in some plain areas and farm labour starved condition.
      Tractor, it can reduce the dependency of bullock pulled ploughing and also farm labours to a great extent and brings efficiency in terms of timely operation and reduces the total farm labour requirement.
       Tractor, the farm implements could be playing multiply roles as far as tillage operation and tractor mounted water pump operation are concerned.
       However, another side of the story is; how affordable is our farmers for such heavy farm implements? Can they afford to purchase tractor?
       In the present farming perspective, there would be hardly any farmers who can afford to purchase tractor solely for his / her farm operation. That is due to the  economic condition of farmers and  its limited utility in the small land holding.
       The situation is; in one side there is requirement for farm implements but in other side, economic condition of farmers is not in the position to afford to purchase such farm implements.
       The other factors that come in the way is; total land holding of the farmers. The average land holding of the farmers of the state is within one hector in majority cases which will not sustain year long utility of tractor if purchased by the farmers.
       The best way to deal with the situation is; Government intervention or co-operative like movements of farmers for achieving this farm implement objectives.
       The state department of agriculture being the sole authority in the field of agriculture to work in the farm endeavor should know the depression relating to every aspect of agriculture sector.
       On the basis of region specific analysis, the department should explore the possibilities for intervening in the situation through a regulated system of tractor service purely on rent basis on such regions or places as the situation demands.
       The other way round to explore the situation is; it is the farmers of the specific areas to form a group to realize the situation and take a proper stock in the situation favoring the farming prospective.
       The farmers must realize the situation, their potentialities in dealing with situation. They should be well aware of the future challenge and how to tackle them for bringing favor in their farming future.
       Means; farmers can cope the situation by forming co-operative like body with an objective to ensure the farm implements are handy to them. With this objective, they can meet their demand for farm implement through contribution by every co-operative member.
       In this case, there will not much burden on their pockets for availing this costly and heavy farm implement facility.
       The next phase of operation and maintenance will be based on the co-operative regulation laid down on consensus by every member.
       The time for acting on the changed environment becomes imminent otherwise coping with the prevailing situation would be Herculean task by an individual farmer.
                                      Agritangkol dated 17.02.2012 at 05.49 P.M


  1. Yes, really I agree with this topic & I thought without agriculture the World became dark or lonely. Because human being is fully depended on agriculture sector directly or indirectly.

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