For better returns to farmers and to arrest inefficiencies in both pre and post-harvest operations, it is imperative to take up mechanisation extensively as it would also help in handling labour shortage in villages.

Save for paddy with about 80% mechanisation, other crops, including cereals, have just about 35% mechanisation although various types of machinery is now available and governments too are coming forward to lend them at affordable prices offering subsidies, said Prem Kumar, head of sales, India & SAARC nations, CLASS Agriculture Machinery India Pvt. Ltd.

He was talking to presspersons to announce launch of four-row maize harvester -- Crop Tiger 40-M460. CLASS India, is a subsidiary of $4.5 billion, 106-year-old German multinational, CLASS KGaA, manufacturing multi-crop harvesters, transplanters, square balers, forage harvesting machines, etc, with a factory near Chandigarh.



Using harvesters and others would easily reduce wastage to less than 1% as against up to 15% in manual operations. Moreover, machines would finish harvesting or other operations in flat one hour for an acre as against at least half-a-day with 10 labourers employed besides providing good quality of grain with negligible breakage, claimed Mr. Kumar. Mr. Kumar also stated that forage/silage harvesting - maize, grass and other ingredients chopped into pieces, fermented for 60 days and fed to milch cattle to improve milk yields due to enhanced nutrition - too has come to India and the firm is working with Telangana and AP governments to help entrepreneurs take it up.

Governments have been giving subsidy on machines up to 40% of machine cost while Karnataka had established 700-800 custom hiring centres with help of voluntary agencies or others, to enable farmers rent them at affordable rates. CLASS itself had taken up 35 such centres with 17,500 farmers utilising seed drills, harvesters, etc. Also, young entrepreneurs in villages are to be trained and machines are being loaned at 20% down payment. About 75 beneficiaries were supported this way in last three years, he said, and called for more government support for increased usage of machines.

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Printable version | Feb 13, 2020 6:04:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/farm-mechanisation-is-the-only-way-forward/article26379583.ece

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