Balaji beams with pride as he shows his new driving licence for tractor and his certificate which reads ‘trained in agricultural mechanisation service.' He is one of the 15 farmers in the district who was given advanced training on agricultural mechanisation under the State Food Security Scheme, 2011.

On Thursday, the first set of tractor licences under the project was issued to farmers at Anayara here. The scheme aims at promoting mechanisation of agricultural sector and training farmers in the use of agricultural equipment.

Sixty selected farmers in the district were trained in handling various agro-equipment for 15 dats. The training sessions were led by experts from the field of agricultural engineering.

The training was imparted in farms at Chirayinkeezhu and the University of Agriculture, Vellayani. “All aspects of the equipment, including their repair, were taught,” says Balaji. The participants were provided food and a stipend of Rs.150 a day during the training.

Haja Shereef, Assistant Executive Engineer, Department of Agriculture, told The Hindu that 15 members from this group who excelled in the training sessions were selected and given advanced training. Upon successful completion of the course, they are issued driving licenses. The farmers are also eligible to apply for the PSC post as tractor driver.