The Union Minister of
State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat
inaugurated three-days EIMA AGRIMACH INDIA 2017 in New Delhi, today. H.E.
Mr. Maurizio Martina, Minister of Agricultural, Food & Forestry
Policies, Italy, H.E. Lorenzo Angeloni, Ambassador of Italy to India,
Shri S.K. Pattanayak, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers
Welfare were also present on this occasion
Speaking on this occasion, Shri Shekhawat said that as we all know,
India is in a far better situation today than it was a few years ago —
be it the macro-economic performance, or the confidence in the economy
or ease of doing business. This is partly because of the buoyant rural
economy, of which, agriculture is an important constituent.
Shri Shekhawat further stated that even though, we have been nearly
sufficient on food production, we have to keep our selves prepared for
future need. Some estimates shows that Food grain demand of country is
expected to reach 355 million tonnes in 2030 as compared to 250 million
tonnes in 2016. Therefore, there is a need to build a future ready
Agriculture- by plugging the existing gaps.
Shri Shekhawat said that Agriculture is a labour intensive activity. The
labour intensive crops entails high manpower requirement, which is fast
depleting and posing a big challenge to crop productivities. This has
resulted in shift from labour - intensive to mechanization intensive
The Minister said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
is working on mission of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 and farm
machinery is an important constituent of it. With the country’s
population growing and the amount of arable land being limited, it is
important that we provide our farmers with all the tools to optimize the
output on their farms. The question thus emerges not only as to how to
leverage farm mechanization for enhancing agricultural productivity, but
also, how to include the large community of small and marginal farmers
into the fold of mechanized farming.
Shri Shekhawat said that the government is therefore promoting farm
mechanization by subsidising purchase of equipment through scheme of
Sub-Mission of Agricultural Mechanisation (SMAM) that promotes models of
custom hiring as well.
It is generally believed that the benefits of modern technology have
been restricted to farmers with large land-holdings. Yet the fact
remains that even small farmers are adopting and utilizing selected farm
equipment for efficient farm management through custom hiring.
Shri Shekhawat informed that during the last few years Indian
agricultural equipment market has been widely exposed to international
trade. I am told that India is a strong exporter of agricultural
machinery with a CAGR of 6.2% over the last 4 years. The presence of 180
buyers from over 40 countries at EIMA AGRIMACH 2017 will certainly give
a big push to the international trade in farm machinery.
The Minister said that strengthened concentration on commodity specific
farm equipment is also a viable path to pursue for increasing
mechanization. Attempts should be to diversify the pattern of
mechanization in India. Time has come to get the farm equipment industry
into a loop and enter into meaningful discussions for spreading the
culture of mechanization in the rural areas.