While stressing for innovation in the agriculture sector, Economy Survey 2017-18 released here on Monday said mechanisation in farming sector has increased more than 12 times in the past 55 years–from 7 % in 1960 to 90 % in 2014-15.
It said there has been a shift towards mechanical and electrical sources of power. In 1960-61, about 93 % farm power was coming from animate sources, which has reduced to 10 % in 2014-15. On the contrary, use of mechanical and electrical sources has increased from 7 to 90 % during the same period, the Survey said.
However, there is still an urgent need to consolidate the land holdings to reap the benefits of agricultural mechanisation. “There is a need to innovate custom service or a rental model by institutionalization for high-cost farm machinery such as combine harvester, Sugarcane harvester, potato combine, paddy transplanter, laser guided land leveler, rotavator etc. to reduce the cost of operation and it can be adopted by private players or State or Central Organization in major production hubs,” the Survey said.
It further suggested enhancing the level of farm mechanisation in the country. Due to the intensive involvement of labor in different farm operations, the cost of production of many crops is quite high. Human power availability in agriculture also increased from about 0.043KW/ ha in 1960-61 to about 0.077 KW/ ha in 2014-15.
However, as compared to tractor growth, increase in human power in agriculture is quite slow. The sale of tractors to a great extent reflects the level of mechanisation. Indian tractor industries have emerged as the largest in the world and account for about one-third of total global tractor production, the survey added.