Agriculture’s Adoption of Modern Technology: Farmers’ use of modern machines and equipment is influenced by a variety of factors, including socioeconomic conditions, geographical conditions, the crop is grown, irrigation facilities, and so on. The Government of India, on the other hand, works with state governments to promote agriculture across the country and infuse modern technology into the sector through various Centrally Sponsored and Central Sector Schemes.
A Centrally Sponsored Scheme, the ‘Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM),’ is being implemented through State Governments w.e.f. 2014-15, with the major objectives of expanding the reach of farm mechanization to small and marginal farmers and to regions where farm power is scarce, and promoting ‘Custom Hiring Centres’ to offset the adverse economies of scale arising from small landholdings.
Modern Machines helping the growth of Agriculture
In order to make agricultural machines and equipment more affordable to farmers, SMAM offers financial assistance for the purchase of agricultural machines ranging from 40% to 50% of the cost, depending on the farmer’s category. Rural youth and farmers as entrepreneurs, Cooperative Societies of Farmers, Registered Farmers Societies, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), and Panchayats are also given financial assistance worth 40% of the project cost to establish Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) and Hi-tech hubs of high-value agricultural machines.
Cooperative Societies, Registered Farmer Societies, FPOs, and Panchayats are given financial assistance worth 80% of the project cost for projects costing up to Rs. 10 lakhs to set up village-level Farm Machinery Banks (FMBs). The rate of financial assistance for the establishment of FMBs in the North Eastern States is 95% of the project cost for projects up to Rs. 10 lakhs.
Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, provided this information in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha on April 1st.