18 December 2021, New Delhi: The practices of cultivation followed by farmers and use of farming equipments depend on various factors such as geographical conditions, crop grown, irrigation facilities etc. The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is implementing various missions/schemes that promotes and extend supports to the farmers for modernization and mechanization of agriculture.
Infrastructure development supports for establishment of Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs)/Hi-tech Hubs of agricultural machines is provided under Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization. Under this scheme, during the period from 2014-15 to 2021-22, the central funds amounting to Rs. 5490.82 Crores have been released to various States and 1352255 number of machines have been distributed on subsidy to individual farmers, 15261 CHCs, 352 Hi-tech Hubs & 15750 Farm Machinery Banks (FMBs) have been established. Under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)Scheme, for protected cultivation of horticulture and vegetable crops, since 2014-15 to 2021-22, an amount of Rs.2767 crore have been released and an area of more than 2.33 lakh hectare has been covered.
Resources conservation technologies for water use efficiency enhancement through micro irrigation has been promoted under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana – Per Drop More Crop (PMKSY-PDMC). Under PMKSY-PDMC, funds of Rs.15280.38 Crore have been released since 2015-16 to 2021-22 and an area of 59.37 lakh hectare was brought under micro irrigation. Soil Heath Cards distribution to farmers for soil test based balanced and judicious use of fertilizers has been undertaken and a total of 10.74 Crores soil health cards have been issued during Cycle-I (2015-17) and 11.97 during cycle –II (2017-19). Under Model Village Programme during 2019-20, 19.64 lakh Soil Heath Cards have been issued to farmers. Precision farming is promoted by use of drones in pesticide spraying for locust control.
The Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has developed various mobile applications for the benefit of farmers such as Kissan Suvidha mobile application facilitates dissemination of information to farmers on the critical parameters viz., Weather; Market Prices; Plant Protection; input Dealers (Seed, Pesticide, Fertilizer) Farm Machinery; Soil Health Card; Cold Storages & Godowns, Veterinary Centres and Diagnostic Laboratories.
A multi-lingual ‘FARMS’ (Farm Machinery Solutions) mobile app facilitates hiring and renting of farm machinery from and by the Custom Hiring Centres/owners of the farm machinery through a fair and transparent rental process. The Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) has also compiled various mobile apps developed by ICAR, State Agricultural Universities and Krishi Vigyan Kendras and uploaded on its website. These mobile apps developed in the areas of crops, horticulture, veterinary, dairy, poultry, fisheries, natural resources management and integrated subjects, offer valuable information to the farmers, including package of practices, market prices of various commodities, weather related information, advisory services, etc.
The impact evaluation study of Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization conducted in 2018-19, indicate that farm mechanization has played a positive role in addressing the issues of shortage of farm labour and helped in increasing employment in rural areas through generation of opportunities for operators, mechanics, salesmen etc. of the agricultural machines.