With agricultural workers continue to migrate to the ‘more lucrative’ textile sector and to other activities, the scope for farm mechanisation is set for an exponential growth in Tirupur district during the next few years.
An assessment done by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) on the scope of farm mechanisation in the district had computed ‘credit potential growth’ in the initiation of agriculture mechanisation activities from Rs. 41.65 crore in 2012-13 to the potential credit flow of Rs. 74.85 crore in 2016-17 fiscal, the last financial year of the current Five Year Plan period, in the district.
“Farm mechanisation is now becoming the need of the hour in districts like Tirupur considering the acute shortage of requisite labourers. The mechanisation, besides increasing the production and productivity, also generates employment in the long run once the farm activities get widened,” K.C.M. Balasubramaniam, a farmer and former agriculture economist from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, pointed out.
The NABARD’s analysis, though showing a substantial potential for growth in agriculture mechanisation, had put a word of caution, as part of the suggestive action points, to the financial institutions that extend capital support to such activities.
“The activities that are now generally been financed by the banks confined to the purchase of tractors, power tillers, power weeders and combine harvesters, among a few others.
They should start extending the assistance to improved agricultural implements and plant protection gadgets,” V.S. Sriram, District Development Manager of NABARD, said.
The other suggestions put forward by the NABARD and other stakeholders involved in farm development were the need for extension of finances for replacement of tractors, power tillers and agri-implements to help the farmer reap the complete benefit of the mechanisation process.
Joint Director of Agriculture M.K. Sherif said that the improvement in farm mechanisation would be most beneficial in the case of sugarcane, maize, turmeric, coconut and paddy considering the conditions it were cultivated in the district.
It will be beneficial for sugarcane, maize, turmeric, coconut and paddy