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7: ISSUE: 2 (2017)


Harwinder Singh and Amarinder Singh
Department of Agriculture, Khalsa College, Amritsar

Received: 21/04/2017 Edited: 28/04/2017 Accepted: 05/05/2017

Abstract: Farm power is the fundamental input for timely farm operations in agriculture. During the last 50 years, the total
farm power availability in Indian agriculture has increased from 0.293 kW/ha to 2.02 kW/ha. The major contribution of
farm power in 1960-61 was from animate power (human+animal), whereas in 2013-14 the major share is that of mechanical
and electrical power. The sale of tractors in India has also grown from 240000 in 2004-05 to more than 690000 in 2013-14
during the last 10 years but the sale of power tillers is still at marginal level. The share of diesel engines and electric motors in
farm power availability varied from 18.6 to 16.3% and 14 to 26.8% respectively during the last 50 years however the trends in
this paper shows that the use of electric motors is increasing as compare to diesel engines in these day. All these effect are due to the
farm mechanization. Undoubtedly, the mechanization is increasing the farm power availability which further increases the
Keywords: Farm power, sources of farm power, power availability, productivity, current trends.

1. Introduction example of tractive work aretillage, sowing, weeding,

Agriculture is an important sector of the mulching, harvesting, transportation etc, whereas
Indian economy. Agriculture in india is currently irrigation, threshing, winnowing, feed grinding, cane
growing at an average compound annual growth rate crushing, cotton ginning etc are example of
(CAGR) of 2.8% (Mehta et al, 2014). Agriculture stationary work.
worker, draught animals, tractors, power tillers, diesel 2. Methodology
engines, electric motors are used as sources of farm 2.1 Sources of Farm Power
power in Indian agriculture.Adequate farm power is The sources of farm power for various farm
required for timely farm operations and to increase operations in india are as: Human power
the production and productivity(Srivastva, 2006). 1. Animal power
The turn around time is reduced with the increase in 2. Tractors
cropping intensity and it becomes difficult to harvest 3. Power tillers
and thresh the standing crops,on one side and 4. Self propelled machines.
prepare seed bed and perform sowing operations of 5. Engines
subsequent crop,on other side, in the limited time 6. Electric power
available, but the use of adequate farm power have The first five sources are mobile power
made it possible. Farm power is the primary input to sources and remaining are the stationary power
perform different types of agricultural operations and sources. The power available from different sources
to operate various types of machinery like tillage, in India is shown in Table 1 and figure 1 shows the
planting, threshing, harvesting and irrigation etc. power availability on Indian farms from different
Farm work is categories into two types; one is sources (%).
tractive work and other is stationary work. The


Table 1. Farm power available (in millions) from different sources in Indian agriculture
Agricultural Power Engines
Year Animals Tractors
Workers tillers & Motors
1990-91 183 71 1.2 0.03 13
2000-01 215 60 2.54 0.11 20
2009-10 243 52.6 4.00 0.26 25
2013-14 272 52 5.237 0.441 25.5

90% 4.66 49.29 16.76 22.29
80% 21.7
70% 7.4
60% 78
50% 21.6 2013-14
14.7 24.1
40% 1990-91
30% 25.2
20% 1960-61
0% 2.54 3.29 1.88
Agricultural Animals Tractors & Diesel Engines Electric
Workers Power tillers motors

Figure 1: Power availability on Indian farms from different sources (%).

2.2 Human Power convenient and cheaper sources that is why the use
Human power includes the power obtained of animal power is reduced to a great extent as
from men, women and child workers. The power of shown in figure 1. The power obtained from animals
male worker is consider as 0.060kW while for a depends upon their body weight, so animals are
female worker is 0.048kW and for a child worker is categories on the basis of their body weight as small
0.030kW. These agricultural workers perform (200-300 kg), medium (300-400 kg) and heavy (400-
different farm operations and earn money. Indian 500 kg). In most of the States the pair weight of
agriculture provides employment to 65%, livelihood draught animalsranges between 600-800 kg/pair and
to 70%of population and about 14% of gross power availabilityfrom them is only about 0.50-0.55
domestic products (GDP) comes from agriculture. kW/pair.
Due to the involvement of this labour, the cost of 2.4 Power from Tractors, Power tillersand Self
production of most of the crops increases. The propelled machines
trends in figure 1 shown that with the passage time Tractors and power tillers fulfill the demand
the use of human power is reduced from 14.7% to of available power for timely farm operations and
4.66%. increase cropping intensity. The use of tractors and
2.3 Animal Power power tillers save time and labour, reduces the cost
Animal power is mostly used for tractive of production, reduces post harvest loses and
works. Bullock, buffaloes, camels and donkeys are increase the farm income. The production of tractor
mainly used as draught animals. They can perform and power tiller in India was started in 1960s and
different farm operations even under muddy and now their annual production has crosses over 600000
rough field conditions, but are dependable source of and 50000 numbers respectively. The demand of
power. Due to the modernization in agriculture most tractors has increased steeply but the demand of
of the field operation are now being done with other power tillers has not grown that fast. The sale of


tractors in India has grown from 247531in 2004-05 custom hiring basis. During this same period the sale
to more than 690000 in 2013-14 during the last 10 of medium power tractors (31-40 hp) decreased from
years andexpected strong potential for future growth 55 to 40.4% and low power tractors (21-30 hp) from
as well. These tractors are available in different 23 to 6.3%. The sale of less than 21 hp tractors was
ranges of horsepower. About 56.73% of the tractors only 3.13% during 2012-13. The current trends in
produced are in the range of 23.12-29.84 kW (31-40 sale of tractors in different power ranges in India
hp), about 17.16% in the range of 30.38-37.3kW (41- indicates the highest share of 40.4% for (31-40 hp)
50 hp) and about 21.50% in the range of 15.66-23.38 tractors. Haryana has the highest tractor density of
kW (21-30 hp) (Mehta et al; 2014). The sale of more 84 tractors per thousand hectare of net sown area,
than 50 hp tractors increased from 7.3% to 13.8% whereas Punjab is at second number by having
during the last 13 years (2000-13). Similarly the sale tractor density of 76 tractors and is followed by Utter
of tractors in the range of (41-50 hp) increased from Pardesh (51), Bihar (44), and Tamil Nadu (43). The
14.1% to 36.4% during the same period. It indicates lowest tractor density is in Kerela (4) and is followed
that requirement of higher power tractors in India by Assam (9) and West Bengal (17) among the states
increased for using higher capacity machines on of India. (Srivastva, 2006)

800000 696523
700000 607658 590672
600000 545109
400000 352835 346501 342836 393836
300000 247531

Figure 2: Sale of tractors during last 10 years

The total sale of power tillers in 2001 was Karnataka, Assam, Kerala, Orissa and Maharashtra.
16018 but the current market of power tillerin India The density of power tiller is 2.21 per thousand
has gone up and down from 2009-10 to 2012-13 and hectare of net sown area. The power tillers market in
now it is estimated at 51851 during the 2013-2014. India is dominated by two players from south India
The market for power tillers in India is mainly viz. VST Tillers Tractors Ltd., Banglore (Karnataka)
concentrated in the eastern and southern parts of the and Kerala Agro Machinery Corporation Ltd.
country owing to the small land holdings per farmer (KAMCO), Athani (Kerala) (Mehta et al, 2014). The
in these regions and high cultivation of rice crops. figure 3 shows the sale of power tillers from 2004-
(Mehta et al, 2014) The major sales of power tillers 2005 to 2013-2014.
are in the States of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu,


60000 55000 56874

50000 46100
40000 35294
30000 24791 26135

Figure 3: Sale of power tillers during last 10 years

The combine harvesters market in India is Industries Pvt Ltd, Hira Agro Industries and others
estimated at 4,000-5,000 units annually by sales. The are some of the manufacturers based in Punjab state
tractor mounted combine harvesters occupy around that have a strong presence in the combine harvester
60% of the total combine harvesters market in India market in India.
and is followed by self-propelled combine harvesters 2.5 Power from Engines and Motors
which represent 40% of the market(Mehta et In 1960 the major contribution in farm
al,2014).The tractor mounted combine harvesters is power was from human and animal power whereas
mainly concentrated in southern states viz. Tamil in 2013-2014 the major share is that of diesel engines
Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka of the and electric motors. The share of diesel engines and
country on custom hiring. Tractor operated combine electric motors in farm power availability varied from
harvester, costing about 60-70% of the self propelled 18.6 to 16.3% and 14 to 26.8% respectively during
combine are owned individually by farmers having the last 41 years. The figure 4 shows the trends of
large size farms (> 4 ha). The self-propelled power available from diesel engines and electric
combines are largely owned by custom-hiring motors during last 41 years. From these trends it is
contractors (Singh, 2004). CLAAS India Ltd., Preet predicted that the use of electric motors is increasing
Agro Industries Pvt Ltd, Balkar Combines, Vishal as compare to diesel engines in these days. This is
Combines, Standard Combines, Kartar Agro due to the higher cost of diesel.

24 24 23.3
e 25 21.8 22.1 21.3 22.29
r 18.1 19.2 20.9 21.3 20.3 20.7
20 18 18.2
15.6 16.3
c 14
e 15
n 10 Electric motor
t Diesel Engine
g 0

Figure 4: Power available from diesel engines & electric motors(%)

3. Result availability and productivity increases from 0.32

3.1 Power availability and Productivity kW/ha to 2.02 kW/ha and 0.636 t/ha to 2.11t/ha
It has been observed that the states with respectively over the years from 1965-66 to 2013-14.
higher farm power availability have more So to achieve higher production level, adequate farm
productivity. The variation of farm power with power is required.
productivity is shown in figure 5. The farm power

Power availability and Productivity over the years


1.5 Power
1965-66 1975-76 1985-86 1995-96 2005-06 2009-10 2013-14

Figure 5: Power availability and production over the years

4. Conclusion from mechanical and electrical sources of power.
It is concluded that the composition and The percentage share of tractor and electric motors
relative share of different sources of power for farm in farm power availability increased from 2.54% to
operations have undergone significant changes 49.29% and 1.88% to 22.29% respectively during the
during the last four decades. The availability of last four decades. The share of diesel engines is
animal power has come down from 78% in 1960-61 almost the same as electric motors from 1960-61 to
to 7% in 2013-14. This is due to economical 2013-14. The growth of power tillers is less than 1%
considerations and convenience point of view. The during the same period. The overall mechanization
percentage share of agricultural workers in total level in India is only 40-45%. However the
power is also reduced from 14.7% in 1960-61 to mechanical and electrical power sources contribute
4.66% in 2013-14. The total share of agricultural 90% of the total farm power.
workers and animals in total farm power availability From the figure 5 it is predicted that the total farm
in Indian agriculture reduced from 92.7% in 1960-61 power availability on Indian farms has increased
to 11.60% during 2013-14. On the other hand the from 0.293 kW/ha to 2.02 kW/ha during last 41
additional demand of farm power is fulfilled mainly years.
Farm Power available from all sources (kW/ha)
1.5 Farm Power(…

Figure 6: Farm power availability from all sources over the years


The average farm power available in India is The present paper conclude that the
still at a low level as compare to other countries. It is availability of farm power is increasing over the years
due to the various challenges related to farm and can be increase further if proper mechanization
machinery and equipment, technology, markets, of the farm operations is to be done.
operations, legislations, policy framework, and other
related areas.

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