In an attempt to educate the farmers on the farm mechanisation in the backdrop of steady rise in the demand for high agricultural production and increasing labour costs, a ‘Kisan Mela’ was organised at the Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS) here on Monday.
It was a farmers’ day out as there was an impressive display of modern farming machinery at
the stalls showcasing varieties of seeds, fruits, farm products, fertilizers and information on the latest farm practices. Farmers should be briefed regularly on the new farm equipments and technological innovations, opined R. Sarada Jayalakshmi Devi, a Board member of the Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University.
Farmers now hold fewer apprehensions about using machines for their regular agricultural activities, said T. Giridhara Krishna, Associate Director of Research at the RARS. “Farmers have already realised that machines work faster and more efficiently, resulting in higher produce.
For example, with the help of an eight-row paddy transplanter, a farmer can cover nine acres per day,” he added.
Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University’s (SVVU) Registrar P. Sudhakar Reddy advocated the need to include a ‘veterinary component’ in the farm practices. “Farmers should always have an alternative to fall back on and to compensate for losses, such as raising cattle” he added.
Farmers also echoed the views of experts saying that mechanisation has made their lives easier. “The works get done faster with fewer labourers,” said Subramanyam Naidu of Musalipedu Village in Yerpedu Mandal. “Even the farmers, who are not in a position to afford such equipment, can borrow them on rent,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) has taken up the task of sensitising farmers on optimum usage of machinery.
“Farmers seldom care about maintaining their equipment. For example, air filters in the engines get clogged faster in agricultural lands because of dust. If they clean it periodically, the engine would function more efficiently and consume less fuel,” said K.V.S.S. Narayana Raju, External Faculty of the PCRA. “Here, we explain the modalities to be followed for diesel machines and other farm equipment to the farmers,” he said.