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Farm mechinisation picking up despite challenges: Govt
 
Srinagar, Jul 3 (PTI) Farm mechanisation is picking up in India in spite of challenges of ensuring adequate power in small farms and skills barriers to operate modern equipment, Union Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh said today.

More farm machineries are being used as the government is promoting it in a big way on a mission mode with sufficient funds, he said while hoping that the farm mechanisation sector grows rapidly for sustainable development of agriculture.

"In future, it is necessary to establish a link between the possibility of sustainable development of agricultural mechanisation without neglecting the lack of energy and environmental degradation due to low availability of fossil fuels and its high cost," Singh said addressing the inter- session meeting of the Consultative Committee on Agriculture.

The committee deliberated on 'Farm Mechanisation'.

ministers of state for agriculture -- S S Ahluwalia, Sudarshan Bhagatji, Parshottam Rupala -- were among others present in the meeting.

With farm land size shrinking, Singh said ensuring availability of sufficient farm power for small farms will be a big challenge.

The other challenges in the field of farm mechanisation are how to overcome skill barriers to provide adequate support to farmers for using modern technology, he said in a statement.

With people engaged in farm sector projected to decline to 190 million by 2020 from 263 million in 2011, the agriculture minister said, "These figures show that during important seasons such as sowing and harvesting there will be a decrease in the work force and it will have an adverse effect on production."

Therefore, the farm mechanisation sector needs to grow rapidly for sustainable development of agriculture and to meet the food demand of the growing population, he added.

As per the government data, the centre has allocated Rs 3,088 crore to state governments for farm mechanisation under various schemes in the last more than three years.

The fund allocation for the Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation (SMAM) has been increase substantially in the current year.

Using this fund, states such as Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have achieved good progress, the minister added.


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