Letter for #PMO
- Majority of the Indian farm labour is landless and almost 50% of them are females.
- For most of them to make two ends meet, is a huge task. Especially women who are paid less basis their reduced output as compared to males; and so there is need to provide them with equipments and tools that can increase their output and thereby multiply Indian labour output in totality.
- Most women labourers even have children who play around their work areas. With mechanization women will finish their work in a shorter duration of time and will have more time for their children.
- A major portion of the farm labour, sustains under tough conditions, below poverty line budgets, and earn their living by doing routine farm operations such as land preparation, sowing, spraying, transplanting, weeding, harvesting etc. Most of these operations are done manually where GOI can make a fruitful intervention by providing cheap, economical yet effective farm equipments.
- Since most farm operations cited above are hitherto performed manually we would like to suggest that these be done by mechanised farm equipments to increase output, make it gender friendly and decimate seasonality factor.
- Indian agriculture census 2001 states, the operational land holding has increased from 129.22 million from 2005-06 to 138.35 million in 2011 showing an increase of 7.06%, but the average operated size of holding which was 1.23 ha in 2006-06 has declined to 1.15 ha in 2010-11 at an average all India level, which is below 3 acres. The small and marginal <2 ha operated area has gone up from 41.14% to 44.58% while both semi medium, medium and large holding have come down. And the average operated size of holding in < 2 ha class has gone up from 83.29% to 85.01%. This should ring alarm bells.
- The above statistics presents a scary picture, both for the farmer and the farm labour.
- This necessitates a paradigm shift in the way agriculture is done. First the concept of Indian farming, like a ‘nuclear’ family should shift to ‘nuclear’ farming, and the manual farm labour needs to be converted into mechanised farm labour where both male and female could do equal amount of work thereby raising the total Indian farm labour output.
HOW DO WE ACHIEVE COST EFFECTIVE, GENDER FRIENDLY, MECHANISED FARM LABOUR?
- GOI can achieve the target of mechanised farm labour by introducing the new concept, compact, gender friendly, light weight, multi-purpose, self-propelled, new age- multi functional power weeders in the farm.
- These multifunctional self propelled weeders can be operated by even females and can do several operations in the entire crop cycle such as tilling, levelling, seed drill operations, spraying of pesticides and weedicides, mechanised weeding, irrigation and water pump operations, harvesting such as potato digger, inter-cultivation and ridger operations.
- It is also pocket friendly.
- Mechanised weeder is environment friendly and also helps in the fight against cancer: Since manual weeding has become extremely expensive due to non-availability of farm labour, that has moved to greener pastures; farmers use excessive weedicides to kill weeds, which has spoilt the soil strata and ground water that is becoming prone to cancer. With mass utilization of mechanised weeders we can avoid usage of chemical weedicide thereby helping in fight against cancer.
- Also we could promote and incentivise e-rickshaws for farm labour during off season
- GOI should incentivise purchase of such modern multi-purpose self propelled equipments through Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of women welfare.