Year: 2020 | Month: December | Volume 7 | Issue 2
Potential of Mechanization on Output Efficiency and Cost Minimization of Farm Operations in Temperate Fruit Crops of Jammu & Kashmir, India
The level of farm mechanization in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) is very poor badly hampered by terraced, small and irregular fields, undulating topography, lack of skilled manpower, poor facilities of repair and maintenance and manufacture of implements. Due to the wider variation in agro-ecological situations and crops grown in J&K as compared to rest of the country, the technological breakthroughs of R&D institutes could not brought benefit in farming as expected. Growing labour scarcity and increasing wage rates in J&K is further pushing farmers towards the wall. The farmers had to come with their own solutions for farm mechanization problems. It was in this backdrop that the machines were designed and fabricated by the SKUAST-Kashmir to meet the mechanised solutions for some of major fruit crops. The designed machines viz., Motorised Walnut Dehuller, Motorised Almond Dehuller, Manual Almond Dehuller and Apricot Harvester were evaluated at field conditions and found cost effective with high output efficiency. The potential cost minimisations on part of the designed machines were significant (` 630 million at J&K level) thereby, increasing farmers’ income by ` 2053 per hectare. Farmer groups may own and operate these machines on collective basis and may also provide them on custom hiring basis to other farmers who may not afford to purchase. There lies an ample scope for entrepreneurship development in the mechanised farm service sector, wherein, these newly designed machines may be owned by an entrepreneur to provide them to farmers on custom hiring basis or act as service provider company for harvest and post harvest operations.
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