Trend in Sustainable Mechanization of Indian Agriculture


Mehta CR

Director ICAR – Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462038

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Volume 15(Special Issue), 2022   ;   Click here for Pdf



Agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the Indian economy contributing 18.5% of national income, about 15% of total exports and supporting two-thirds of the work force. At the same time, biotic and abiotic stresses, degrading and depleting land and water resources and climate change are major challenges for sustainable agricultural production and productivity. The small and marginal land holdings (less than 2.0 ha) account for more than 86% of land holdings. The labour availability in agriculture is expected to go down to 26% of total workforce by 2047. Mechanizing small and non-contiguous group of small farms is against ‘economies of scale’ for individual ownership of farm machinery. With no possibility of increase in net cultivated area and diminishing farm labour availability, intensive agriculture with higher input use efficiency is essential for the growth of Indian agriculture in near future. Farm power and agricultural machinery are essential inputs for sustainable agricultural production and productivity to feed India’s burgeoning population. The intensification of crop production must be sustainable with low environmental footprint. A holistic, value-chain approach is necessary for agricultural mechanization, going beyond green production through precision agriculture and digital agriculture. Precision agriculture for region specific crop planning, controlled precision application of inputs (seeds, fertilisers, chemicals, water, etc), multi-functional farm equipment to conserve energy and to reduce turnaround time, application of drones in agriculture, application of sensors, micro-processor and computer in agriculture are some of the futuristic technologies that need more attention for sustainable agriculture in India. There is a need to simplify these technologies and make them cost-efficient for maximum adoption at the farmers’ level.