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Government Of Assam Department of Agriculture & Horticulture Directorate of Agriculture

Agriculture Mechanization& Post Harvest Management

    Agriculture Mechanization

    Agriculture Mechanization technology plays a key role in improving agricultural production in developing countries and should be considered as an essential input to agriculture. The term “Farm Mechanization” is used as an overall description of the application of the variety of tools, implements, equipment, machinery, power & other mechanical inputs. Proper use of mechanized inputs into agriculture has a direct and significant affect on production, productivity and profitability on agriculture farms, along with labour productivity and quality of life of people engaged in Agriculture. Empirical evidence confirms that there is a strong co-relation between Farm Mechanization and Agricultural Productivity. State with greater availability of farm power shows higher productivity as compare to others.

    Farm Power Availability:

    Agriculture workers, draught animals, tractors, power tillers, diesel engine and electrical motors are used as source of farm power in Indian Agriculture. The total farm power availability on Indian farm has increased at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.58% from 0.293 to 1.841 Kw/Hac during the last 41 years.

    During the corresponding period the state of Assam has made adequate initiative to popularize Agricultural Mechanization in farm sector and improve the status marginally. Despite of having inherent constrains the state has achieved farm power availability of 0.97 Kw/Hac.

    Constrains to Farm Mechanization:

    Unlike other agriculture sectors, farm mechanization sector in the state has a far more complex structural composition. It is facing various challenges related to farm mechanization and equipment, technology, markets, operations, legislations, policy frame work and other related areas. Land size, cropping pattern, market price of crop availability and cost of labour are the major factors deciding the growth of Agriculture Mechanization.

    Current Initiative :

    The Govt. of India had launched Central Sector Scheme – “Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM)” under the aegis of National Mission on Agricultural Extension & Technology in all states to promote the usage of farm mechanization and increase the ratio of farm power to cultivable unit area up to 2 kW/ha.

    In addition the Govt. has launched the most ambitious scheme Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY)” with an objective to achieve the desired growth of Agricultural Mechanization by providing one Tractor Unit to each revenue village of the State covering 25 villages.

    Post Harvest Management

    Post harvest engineering is a specialization under the discipline of Agricultural Engineering that deals in the operations required to make agricultural commodities edible after harvesting is completed and to increase the usable economic life of the crops and commodities. By performing the operations, value addition is done to the commodities with subsequent benefits such as:

    • More profit to the producer / trader
    • Avenues for entrepreneurs & employment generation
    • Food security
    • Socio-economic uplift through exotic geographical indicator foods and food products

    It is done through performing operations such as (1) Primary & secondary processing and (2) by performing operations of preservations like Canning, Refrigeration, Controlled atmospheric storage; Dehydration or drying; Chemical treatment; Use of subatomic particles.

    Potential of post harvest technology intervention in processing / value addition:

    • Food grain sector: paddy, oil seeds, pulses and maize which are the major crops grown in Assam.
    • Horticultural sector: major fruit crops: banana, pineapple, citruses. Underutilised fruits: leteku (Baccaurea sapida), poniol (Flacourtia gangomos), nagatenga (Rhus semialata), thereju (Prunus jenkinsii), kordoi (Averrhoa carambola), mirika tenga (Parameria polyneura), amora (Spondias mangifera), outenga (Dillenia indica), silikha (Terminalia chebula), bhomora (Terminalia belerica) etc. are available in the state.
    • Spices: ginger, turmeric, black pepper, chillies, large cardamoms are the dominant crops. However, due to poor post-harvest handling, annually 35-50% of the crops are lost.
    • Plantation and forest crops: tea, sugarcane and rubber
    • Medicinal and aromatic plants: agarwood, sugandhmantri, patchouli, java-citronella, lemongrass, aswagandha, sarpagandha, tulshi, pipoli, satavar, smilax, are some of the promising medicinal crops with entrepreneurial potential through intervention of post harvest technology.