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Agricultural Mechanisation

Strategies and programmes have been directed towards replacement of traditional and inefficient implements by improved ones, enabling the farmers to own tractors, power tillers, harvesters and other machines, availability of custom hire services, support services of human resource development, testing, evaluation and research & development. A huge industrial base for manufacturing of the agricultural machines has also been developed. Introduction of technologically advanced equipments through extension and demonstration besides institutional credit has also been taken up. Equipments for resource conservation have also been adopted by the farmers.

Under various government sponsored schemes like Macro Management of Agriculture, Technology Mission for Oilseeds, Pulses and Maize, Technology Mission on Horticulture, Technology Mission on Cotton and National Food Security Mission, financial assistance is provided to the farmers for the purchase of identified agricultural implements and machines.

Farm Machinery Training & Testing Institutes

Farm Machinery Training & Testing Institutes (FMT&TIs) have been established at Budni (Madhya Pradesh), Hissar (Haryana), Garladinne (Andhra Pradesh) and at Biswanath Chariali (Assam). The institutes have been capacity to train 5600 personnel annually on various aspects of agricultural mechanization. These institutes also undertake testing and performance evaluation of agricultural machines including tractors in accordance with National and International Standards. Since inception 1,10,712 personnel have been trained and about 2584 machines tested by these institutes till 31 March 2009. During 2008-09 these institutes have trained 5894 personnel and tested 163 machines.

Demonstration of newly developed agricultural/horticultural equipments

With the objective of induction of improved/new technology in the agricultural production system, demonstration of newly developed agricultural equipment including horticultural equipment has been undertaken. The component envisages conduct of demonstrations of improved/newly developed agricultural/horticultural equipment at farmers' field to acquaint them about their use and utility for production of different types of crops. 100% grant in aid is given to the implementing agencies for procurement and demonstration of identified equipment. For implementation of schemes, funds are released to States and two organizations (viz. ICAR & SFCI) on the basis of proposals received for assistance under the scheme. During the year 2008-09, 11214 demonstrations of new equipments were conducted benefiting 1,52,364 farmers.

Outsourcing of Training

This is a new component approved from the Tenth Plan in order to train large number of farmers at nearby places and implemented w.e.f. 2004-05. The training programme have been arranged through the identified institutions by each state namely State Agricultural Universities (SAU's), Agricultural Engineering Colleges/Polytechnics etc. During the year 2008-09, funds amounting to Rs.27.20 lakh have been provided for conducting training programmes at the identified institutions.

Post Harvest Technology and Management

"Reforming Agricultural Markets & Promoting Post Harvest Technology" has been identified as one of the thrust areas for the Ministry of Agriculture by the Prime Minister's Office. Accordingly the Department is implementing a new scheme on 'Post Harvest Technology and Management during XI Plan period w.e.f. March 2008 with an approved outlay of Rs.40.00 Crores. Under the scheme the technologies developed by ICAR, CSIR and those identified from within the country and abroad for primary processing, value addition, low cost scientific storage/transport of cereals, pulses, oilseeds, surgarcare, vegetables and fruits and the crop by-product management is being given thrust. Under this scheme during the year Rs.478.00 lakh have been released for distribution of post harvest equipments through subsidy, organizing demonstration and training on post harvest technologies.

State Agro Industries Corporations

The Government of India had advised the State Governments in the year 1964, to set up State Agro Industries Corporations (SAICs) in the public sector to act as catalysts in providing access to industrial inputs for farmers, for their use in agriculture. Thus, 17 SAICS were set up in the joint sector with equity participation of the Government of India and respective State Governments, namely Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal during 1965 to 1970. Many of the State Governments have increased their equity participation as a result of which the Government of India, at present, is a minority shareholder. So far, the Government of India's shares in SAICs of Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and West Bengal have been transferred to the State Governments concerned.

Legislative Framework

The Dangerous Machines (Regulation) Act 1983 - External website that opens in a new window, came into force with effect with effect from 14 December 1983. The Act provides for the regulation of trade and commerce and production, supply and use of products of any industry producing dangerous machines with a view to securing the welfare of persons operating any machine and for payment of compensation for death or bodily injury suffered while operating any such machine. Power threshers used for threshing of the agricultural crops have been under the ambit of this Act. The power operated chaff cutter and power operated sugarcane crusher have also been brought under the purview of the Dangerous Machines (Regulation) Act 1983 by way of Notification No. G.S.R. 505(E) and also the Dangerous Machines (Regulation) Rules 1984 have been amended vide Notification No. G.S.R. 506(E) dated 24th July 2007.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 07-01-2011