Introduction and History
- Most grain and seed crops are now harvested with combined
harvester-threshers, commonly known as combines.
- Except for the differences in the feeding arrangement and
the addition of a straw stacker, stationary threshers employ
the same principles and include the same basic components
- Although the greatest application of combines is in harvesting
the small grains, corn and soybeans, these machines are also
used for a wide variety of small-acreage or specialty crops.
- Thus, although most emphasis in the following discussion will
be placed upon grain harvesting, occasionally consideration
will be given to other seed crops.
Present status of farm Mechanism
- Present status of farm mechanisation in India can be viewed
under the following general categories
- Improved manual tools.
- Improved animal drawn implements.
- Tractor operated implements. Custom hiring units on the farm.
- Other stationary equipments like threshers, irrigation pumps,
sprayers, dusters, etc.
- Unit power available for crop production is about 0.54 hp
/ ha whereas desirable level is about 1 hp / ha.
Improved manual tools
- Improved manual tool plays important role in minimising
the physical strain on the worker.
- It increases the output of work per unit time.
- This category includes sickles, khurpi, prunning, knives,
wheel hand hoe, long handle hoses, manually operated seed
drills and many such items.
- The manual tools vary in their size and design to some extent
according to local conditions.
Animal drawn improved implements
- More than 80% farmers depend upon animal drawn implements.
Improved implement increases the output and quality of work.
- This includes improved steel ploughs, cultitvators, harrows,
seed drills, seed-cum-fertilizer drills, multipurpose tool
bar, bakhar, puddlers, levellers improved carts, scrapers
and many other implements.
- At present a large number of animal drawn implements are manufactured
by local firms.
Tractors and matching implements
- Tractor is an important machine used for farm mechanisation.
- About 10% area of the country are covered by tractor operated
- Tractor population has increased from 9000 to about 1.04 million
during last 40 years.
- The production of indigenous tractors started in India in
1961. M/s. Eicher Ltd. is the first tractor manufacturer in
- 39 models of tractor are being produced in India in different
- There are 3 models of tractor of less than 20 hp, 9 models
of tractor of 20-29 hp, 11 models of tractor of 30-39 hp,
8 models of tractor of 40-49 hp and 8 models of more than
- The list of manufacturers of tractors and power tillers are
given in Appendix C and D.
- The technical details of tractors are given in Appendix E.
Facilities for training and testing
There are three major farm machinery training and testing institutes in
India, besides minor centres
1. Central Region Farm Machinery Training & Testing Institute,
2. Northern Region Farm Machinery Training & Testing Institute,
3. Southern Region Farm Machinery Training & Testing Institute,
- These centres perform the testing of tractors, power tillers
and farm machines on extensive basis.
- Training facilities are also there for engineers, technicians,
operators, mechanics and user in connection with repair, maintenance
and operation of farm machines and tractors.
- The farmers who do not have their own tractors, try to
hire the tractors with matching implements for their cultivation
work on payment of custom hiring charges.
- The custom hiring work is being done by state agro industries
corporation, government agencies, co-operative societies and
private tractor owners.
- These tractors are utilised for hot weather ploughing, seed
bed preparation, ridge making, levelling, land reclamation
and tractor mounted combine.
- Custom hiring is also done for stationary equipments like
threshers, irrigation pumps, sprayers and dusters.
Limiting factors in farm mechanisation:
The followings are the limiting factors in farm mechanisation in India.
- Small land holdings.
- Less investing capacity of farmers.
- Agricultural labour is easily available.
- Adequate draught animals are available in the country.
- Lack of suitable farm machines for different operations.
- Lack of repair and servicing facilities for machines.
- Lack of trained man power.
- Lack of co-ordination between research organisations and manufacturers.
- High cost of machines.
- Inadequate quality control of machines.
Suggestions for farm mechanisation:
- To develop a national policy on farm mechanisation.
- To establish an apex body to implement the national policy
on farm mechanisation. This may provide basis of industries
to plan their capacities, sale and servicing of equipments.
- To open adequate training centres for imparting training to
engineers, mechanics, technicians, operators and uses on farm
power and machinery regarding proper selection, operation,
maintenance and repair of machines.
- To start testing and evaluating centres for farm power and
machinery on regional basis.
- To establish adequate centres for repairs and spare parts
- To reinforce tractor testing stations on the lines of International
- To improve the industrial policy for maintaining better quality
of implements and machines.
- Agricultural Engineering Extension Education wing is required
to be established on sound footing to keep the farmers up-to-date
on various aspects of application of engineering to agriculture.
- The landless workers need financial assistance to own hand
tools to improve their earnings.
- Post harvest technology deserves special attention.
- Custom hiring system is required to be encouraged in rural
Future trend of farm machinery and implements
- History indicates that the process of mechanization is
dynamic with no ultimate goal in sight
- Each manufacturers must continually improved his products
And developed new ones in order to maintain a profitable position
- Safety, comfort, and convenience for the operator will continue
the great deal of attention
- Concentrate automatic control for complex machines become
- As longer and larger tractors are introduced, tillage tools
must be designed for higher speeds are to efficiently utilize
- Mechanical harvest of fruits and vegetables are difficult
because varied characteristics of the different plants, fruits
- The economic adaptation of certain types of machines to small
farmers is a problem that needs more attention before our
agriculture, can become completely mechanizes
- Simplification of the more complex machines which is in direct
contrast to present development trends is needed and is a
real challenge to agricultural engineers