“Farm mechanization” even though productive, it may cause significant socio-economic problems. Explain.
mechanization means use of machines to perform many activities on farms
resulting in reduction of money spent on hiring of labour and time of
operation, and increase in productivity. The term mechanization is generally
used as an overall description of the application of these inputs. Farm
mechanization covers the use of tools, implements and powered machineries as
they are the major inputs in agriculture.
one of the factors responsible for urbanization and industrial economics. It
also improves production efficiency, encourages large scale production and
improves the quality of farm produce. Other key factors that influence
successful mechanization include Socio-economic factors, supporting
infrastructure, land and agro-ecological conditions, and technical skills and
mechanization has been seen as the pivot to agricultural revolution in many
parts of the world and has contributed greatly to increased output of food
crops and other agricultural products to meet the demands of the ever
increasing world population.
A survey was
conducted to assess the impact of mechanization on socio-economic conditions of
farming communities. The survey was conducted in the selected villages of
Midnapore district of West Bengal, representing eastern paddy area and Bhopal
district of Madhya Pradesh, representing central wheat and soybean producing
areas. The important conclusions drawn, based on the information gathered through
survey are as follows: (1) the level of mechanization in eastern rice producing
areas was quite low compared to that in the central wheat and soybean producing
region, (2) the cropping intensity was fairly high in the regions having
increased level of mechanization including tractorization. The productivity of
land was also high in those regions, (3) tractorization had a positive effect
on the yield level of major crops grown in Bhopal district of Madhya Pradesh,
(4) tractorization had beneficial effects on farm labour employment. In fact,
the farming households which owned tractors employed more labour per hectare of
cultivated area for the two labour-intensive operations, like weeding and
harvesting/threshing, than the farming households without tractors, (5) farm
mechanization resulted in increased levels of gross income and uplift of social
status of both farming and non-farming households in the region. In general,
there was an observed increase in their standards of living as indicated by
their ownership of houses, utilization of motorized transport vehicles, and
properly clothed family members.
One of the
effects of mechanisation was to reduce the number of farm jobs available. When
this coincided with an economic downturn, such as when haymaking machinery was
introduced during the economic depression of the 1880s, the impact on workers
was particularly severe.
There has also
been a growth in farm size, as labour-saving machines have allowed ‘one-man’
farms to expand. In 1928 most dairy farms were either 55 acres (22 hectares)
carrying 20–25 cows, or 100 acres (40 hectares) carrying 39–45 cows. By 2006
the average dairy herd size in New Zealand was 322. In Canterbury it was 648 –
the result of large arable farms being converted to dairying.
has increased farm production significantly. For example, machines made
large-scale land clearance and drainage projects possible, aerial topdressing
made steep country productive for the first time, and electric fences allowed
farmers to use pasture more efficiently.
Locally manufactured machinery
manufacturing has been a significant industry in countries like New Zealand
from the mid-19th century. Early firms – such as P. & D. Duncan, Reid
&Gray, and Andrews &Beaven – produced ploughs, harrows, threshing
machines, chaff cutters, and seed cleaners.
Reliance on imports
local manufacturing, mechanisation has tended to increase farming’s dependence
on imports. Farm machinery, particularly from the United States, featured
strongly in import statistics from the mid-19th century, and local
manufacturers generally used metal and parts from overseas. Feed for bullocks
and horses was produced locally, as was coal for steam engines, but most
oil-based fuel was imported.