A two-day agricultural machinery and farm equipment exhibition is being organised on the campus of the University of Agricultural Sciences-Bangalore from January 19.

The exhibition, which is being organised jointly by the All India Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers’ Association, UAS-B, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Union Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, will showcase the latest releases in agricultural machinery and farm equipment.

The exhibition is being held as part of the national meet on agricultural machinery to discuss the prospects of farm machinery industry in the country and problems being faced by it. The meet will also focus on possibilities of research collaborations with the ICAR and state agricultural universities in a bid to develop machineries and implements that cater to the emerging needs of farmers.

Farm mechanisation has assumed importance of late following the severe shortage of labour. In fact, such is the seriousness of labour shortage that some farmers have left their lands fallow as they have been unable to manage work on their own.

The 12th Five-Year Plan is focussing extensively on farm mechanisation and to introduce the concept of custom-hiring of farm machinery through an Agricultural Extension and Technology Mission.

The proposed mission tries to promote entrepreneurship among those with a farming background or having a degree in agricultural sciences. They will get access to loans with subsidy component to buy agri machinery, which could be hired by farmers.

The new trend in farm mechanisation is to design smaller machines that farmers can afford. The UAS-B is also trying to promote the concept of farmers joining together to form small groups to own and use these machines so that it would not only be affordable, but also makes economic sense.