Following is an excerpt from a report in expressbuzz.com.
… A record number of 2,170 tractors were sold under farm subsidy scheme in the last financial year as against Government target of 1,500. Never before in the agriculture history of the State such a large number of tractors were sold in spite of Government subsidy. However, this was possible due to significant increase in the rate of subsidy, said Director of Agriculture and Food Production Arabinda Padhee.
Prior to the last kharif, the subsidy on the purchase of tractor was limited to Rs 45,000. The subsidy amount was doubled last year to Rs 90,000 and this is definitely the major motivating factor for the farmers.
Similarly, the sale of power tiller has gone up. Under farm subsidy, 7,762 power tillers were sold in the last fiscal as against a target of 5,529. The other mechanised implements sold last year include 292 reapers, 45 self-propelled rice transplanters, 65 tractor drawn rotavators, 831 power thrashers and 396 tractor drawn axial flow power thrashers.
… Earlier, farmers were not very keen on combine harvester because of its prohibitive cost. Cost of a combine harvester ranges from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 16 lakh. However, 49 combined harvesters were sold last year because of enhanced subsidy. Subsidy on a combined harvester is Rs 3 lakh for base model and Rs 4 lakh for top-end model, Padhee said.
Mechanisation of various agricultural operations has made significant impact on the productivity and cost of cultivation. While the reduction of cost varies from 16 to 26 per cent, productivity has gone up from 7 to 25 per cent, he said adding, this also reduced drudgery to a great extent.
The machineries have also provided additional income to its owners through custom hiring. Apart from self-employment, these machineries are also generating direct and indirect employment for the local youth, he said.