Farm machinery, also known as agricultural machinery, are the devices and tools developed to improve agriculture and cropping in India. It has been being developed to reduce human labour and boost productivity in less time. From simple hand-held implements that are being used since historic times to complex harvesters of modernized mechanized agriculture. It can not only help to speed the process but also help with new ways of better crop production that benefit the economy as well as people and cattle. With the advancement of Artificial Intelligence and robotics, the potential to automate the three key steps that are involved in agriculture, viz diagnosis, decision making, and performing.
History of Farm Machinery in India
The history of farm or agricultural machinery dates back to the time of the industrial revolution. With the emergence of the industrial revolution, the development of commercially helpful technologies started getting developed, bringing a huge leap forward for the agricultural sector. Instead of harvesting grains by hand, people started using wheeled machines. Instead of beating crops by hand, they started using threshing machines. Power for the agricultural industry was always drawn from domestic animals. But the invention of steam engines took the weight of the machines away from the domestic animals. When ploughing was seen to be more time-consuming by cattle-labor, tractors were conceptualized and finally appeared in the late 19th century. Tractors were further modified by the development of the internal combustion engines which found their place in the second and third generations of tractors.
Future of Farm Technology in India
Though there has been noticeable development in farm machinery, the basic steps of agriculture remain the same. The crops are still threshed as they were used to, they are still cut and cleaned as they were used to but in a mechanized way that requires human assistance and not labour.
This is an industry with a multitude of stakeholders with many small numbers of large firms dominating the market on one hand, and on the other, we have small and marginal farmers using the products. The Indian farm machinery sector is expected to grow at a record CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period.
The farm machinery technology summit was inaugurated by The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Tractor and Mechanization Association (TMA). The minister said that there are 85% of small farmers still have not got the opportunity to benefit from the agricultural machinery in India. With the support of the Prime Minister, the government is working profoundly to make sure that every single farmer in the country is equipped with the best technology and devices that will ease their work and hence boost agricultural production resulting in the betterment of the farmers’ as well as the nation’s economy.
At the summit, it was announced that the government has reduced the time taken for testing of tractors to a minimum of seventy-five days by the Central Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institute (CFMTTI), Budni (M.P.). The introduction of the Rupees One lakh crore Agricultural Infrastructure Fund is also an important step in this direction, in which projects worth Rs. 14,000 crores have been approved which is benefitting the farmers. It is only because of the relentless effort of the farmers that today India stands as one of the top countries in the world when it comes to agricultural flourishment and development. So, the government along with the scientists of the country have introduced developed machinery and friendly policies which will ensure the personal growth of the farmers’ economy and the eventual growth of the country by 2050.