Indian Journal of Economics and Development
Year : 2018, Volume : 14, Issue : 2 First page : ( 235) Last page : ( 242)
Print ISSN : 2277-5412. Online ISSN : 2322-0430.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2322-0430.2018.00125.7
Farm Mechanization in Himachal Pradesh: Constraints, Status and its Role in Augmenting Farm Incomes
The present study sought to assess the status of mechanization in the state, and the concomitant constraints and to examine its role in reducing costs and hence enhance farm incomes. The results of this investigation showed that there is proliferation of the marginal holdings in the state as marginal farmers account for about 70 percent of the total holdings with meagre average holding size of 0.41 ha. The average number of parcels per holding in the state is more than double than that at the national level. These tiny holdings limit the scope of farm mechanization. The use of electricity in agriculture, as a proportion of total energy sold, is around one percent in Himachal Pradesh. The overall extent of farm mechanization in the state in terms of the number of agricultural implements per 1000 ha of gross cropped area, increased continuously from 1.543 machines in 1972–73 to 76.817 in 2011–12. The number of tractors and power tillers per 1000 ha of net sown area also increased from 0.06 in 1972 to 17.74 till 2002. The field evidence suggests that use of power tiller led to the reduction of cost to the tune of about 95 and 208 percent over hired bullock pair and owned bullock pair, respectively for land preparation and sowing purposes. This calls for more incentives towards farm mechanization so as to boost commercial farming in the state by laying more stress on high tech, precision, labour saving, farm machinery and tools.