A Farm Machinery Testing Centre (FMTC), the first of its kind in the State, has started functioning at the Kerala Agricultural University’s Kelappaji College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology ( KCAET), Tavanur. KAU Vice-Chancellor P. Rajendran inaugurated the FMTC on Monday. K. T. Jaleel, MLA, presided.

A press release issued by the KAU quoted Mr. Rajendran, “The centre will expedite the mechanisation process. Mechanisation has become an integral part of agriculture as manual labour is no more viable and economically feasible. Agricultural growth is a precondition for economic development. Whenever the country achieved better agricultural output the overall growth rate has gone up. Agri-based economies such as China and India fared better than industrial economies during the economic recession.”

He said mechanisation would be successful in Kerala if machines and implements suitable for fragmented holdings were produced. “FMTC can be a vital cog in the process,” he said.

The FMTC, established with the support of the Union Agriculture Ministry, is meant to test the suitability and efficiency of agricultural machinery, manufactured in India or abroad. Mr. Jaleel said mechanisation had enhanced productivity and profitability.

He also inaugurated a farm machinery museum that showcased traditional farm implements and modern machinery.

Among those present were A.N. Meshram, Deputy Commissioner, Union Ministry of Agriculture; KAU Executive Committee member P. A. Salam; Block Panchayat president E. Balakrishnan; KAU General Council members Mary Regina and Abdul Hakkim; grama panchayat president A.T Sajitha; member Leela Viswananthan; KAU Director of Research V.K. Raju; Director of Extension Jose Mathew; P.R. Jayan; Hebeebur Rahman; Agriculture Department Executive Engineer V. Babu Ashlyn Antony, KAU Registrar E. K. Mathew and M. S. Hajilal, Dean (Faculty of Agricultural Engineering).