Center for agricultural mechanization and tailor-made hiring
Budgam: In order to promote the agricultural sector, the government has launched various programs, initiatives and other policies for the empowerment of farmers from time to time.
The Agricultural Mechanization Sub-Mission (SMAM) is one such program under which agricultural machinery/equipment is issued to individual farmers or SHGs at subsidized rates and 40% and 80% subsidies are granted to aspirants for setting up Customized Hiring Centers (CHC) and Farm Machinery Banks on unit costs of minimum Rs. 10.0 Lacs, subject to a maximum grant of Rs. 4.0 Lacs and Rs. 8, 0 lakes, respectively.
Like other parts of Kashmir, Department of Agriculture has also adopted it in Budgam district on a large scale for the benefit of small, medium and large farms.
CHC has not only helped farmers improve the productivity of different crops, but also improved their socio-economic status. In Budgam, there are up to 50 people who have established CSCs, optimistic about this, it has improved the quality of operations and precision in the application of inputs, which has resulted in increased income farmers.
One of the beneficiaries is Abid Nazir, a 26-year-old from Khanpora Budgam who, along with eight other friends, applied for CHC and successfully established it in 2020, branded as The Turabi Group.
Nazir, who is doing her master’s degree in history, was like many other unemployed educated young people with no source of income. However, the establishment of the CHC not only helped him find a decent livelihood for himself and his SHG friends, but also provided employment for a few other young people, hired to operate the machines.
He said that the use of the machinery has not only boosted their agriculture but also other farmers who have rented it from them have shown tremendous results in the agricultural sector.
He maintained that the use of mechanization in their farms for various operations reduces the labor component, saves time and enables them to carry out various agricultural operations efficiently in the shortest possible time, thereby improving the overall socio-economic standards of farmers.
Nazir further said that through the CHC they found a source of income for them and lifted them out of a state of desperation and turned them into job providers rather than job seekers.
Agricultural mechanization involves the use of various energy sources and improved agricultural tools and equipment, with a view to reducing the drudgery of human beings and draft animals, improving cultivation intensity, precision and timeliness of effective use of various agricultural inputs and reduction of losses at different stages of agricultural production.
Agricultural mechanization has ensured the improvement of overall productivity and production with the lowest cost of production. The contribution of agricultural mechanization has been well recognized in improving production with irrigation, biological and chemical inputs of high yielding seed varieties, fertilizers, pesticides and mechanical power.
Sharing the details, Budgam Director of Agriculture, Syed Tafazul Hussain Madni said that in 2020-2021, Budgam Agriculture Bureau issued 4 personalized employment center numbers and 4 bank numbers of agricultural machinery to individuals and SHGs with a subsidy of Rs. 1.20 crores.
He said agricultural mechanization plays a vital role in increasing agricultural productivity. Mechanization has been welcomed in India as one of the important elements in the modernization of agriculture, improving agricultural productivity and hence rural prosperity.
The government has put in place several programs and policies that support greater mechanization of Indian agriculture and CHC is one such initiative, a commitment to transform the agricultural sector and double farmers’ incomes by 2022- 23.
Farm machinery allows farmers to quickly rotate crops on the same land and ensure improved cropping intensity and make farmland more commercially viable.
Assists in the conversion of uncultivable land to agricultural land through advanced tiling techniques and also in the movement of land used for growing animal feed and forage by draft animals to food production.
Agricultural mechanization and crop productivity have a direct correlation because agricultural mechanization saves time and labor, reduces drudgery, reduces long-term production costs, reduces post-harvest losses and increases agricultural production and farm incomes.
The Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) provides an appropriate platform to converge all activities related to agricultural mechanization by providing a “one stop shop” approach for implementation with accelerated and inclusive growth of the agricultural mechanization in India. (Feature was written by DIPR-JK)