Custom Hiring Centre- Utilization of farm machinery and equipment reduces the unit cost of production through enhanced input use efficiency and judicious use. Thus, there is a strong need for mechanization of agricultural operations.
In India, the level of mechanization as of 2015-16 is 40% while the share of the population engaged in agriculture is 40% in 2019-20 and it is estimated to decrease to about 26% by 2050. The farm power availability has increased from 1.1 kW/ha in 1995-96 to 2.4 kW/ha in 2015-16. Presently, the National average of farm power availability is 2.02 kW/ha there is a need to increase it to 4.0 kW/ha by 2030 for these custom hiring centers to play a key role.
Thus, there is a strong need for taking farm mechanization. However, the farm power distribution is quite uneven across the States, wherein the highest use of mechanical power is in the order of 3.5 kw/ha in Punjab and less than 1kw/ha in States like Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand etc.
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Need of Custom Hiring Centres
The present scenario is a gradual shift of agricultural labour to the industrial sector, which leads to a scarcity of farm labour. During the peak season the labour force is not available to carried out the farming operations on-time. During the adverse climatic conditions, farmers need immediate action to crop harvest, in such a condition labour force is limiting factor. By virtue of their economic condition, small and marginal farmers are unable to purchase farm machinery. Early harvesting of crop facilities to immediate sowing of next crop. To fulfil the above criteria a farm equipment and machinery make available to farmers at village level by Custom hiring centres.
How Custom Hiring Centre Scheme can help farmers
- CHC supply the farm implements to small, marginal, and poor farmers at subsidized rates on hire.
- CHC enables the small and marginal farmers to take up farm operation on time.
- Farm machinery can use during adverse climatic conditions also.
- labour scarcity during the peak season is a major problem for farmers, CHCs will fulfil the scarcity of labour.
- Provides access to small and marginal farmers to use costly farm machinery.
- Reduction in cost of cultivation and efficiency in use of resources.
- Ideally, the CHC located in a place where by and large small land holdings are located within a radius of 5 to 7 kms.
- The CHC Farm Machinery Mobile App is already launched by the government of India, in which more than 40,000 CHSs have been registered with more than 1,20,000 machinery and equipment will be given on rent.
- Current status of CHCs in India
- State wise custom hiring centre (CHC’s) established so far, mechanisation and technology division, department of agriculture, co-operation and farmers welfare, ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare, government of India dated 31.03.2021. Punjab state had highest CHCs of 22,800 and the lowest was Meghalaya only 3 no. of CHCs. The total CHCs in India are 78,117. Still India need more CHCs to increased the farm power 4.0 kW/ha by 2030.
Subsidies available on establishment of Custom Hiring Centers
1. Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM)
Sub- Mission on Agricultural Mechanization is one such scheme under which farm machinery or equipment is issued to individual farmers or SHGs on subsidized rates 40% are provided to the aspirants for the establishment of Custom Hiring Centres (CHC).
2. National Food Security Mission (NFSM)
Under this scheme, assistance is provided up to 50% the cost of machinery such as pump sets, tractor mounted sprayers, seed drills, zero till seed drills to varying degrees.
3. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY)
Under this scheme, assistance is provided up to 50% for large equipment (tractors, combine harvesters, sugarcane harvesters, cotton pickers, etc.).
4. Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture
Assistance is provided for procurement of power-operated machines and tools, Associations, farmer groups, SHGs, women farmer groups (with more than 10 members), etc., that are engaged in cultivation of horticulture crops are eligible. From the above schemes, out of this 50% subsidy, 60% assistance from the Centre and 40% from the state are provided for the farmers.
5. Establishment of Farm Machinery Banks for Custom Hiring
Procurement subsidy for establishment of Custom Hiring Centre up to 10, 25, 40 and 60 lakhs are provided, the subsidy granted is 40% of total estimation.
6. Establishment of Hi- Tech, High Productive Equipment Hub for Custom Hiring
Procurement subsidy for establishment of Custom Hiring Centre up to 100, 150, 200, 250 lakhs are provided, the subsidy granted 40% of total estimation.
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Establishing CHCs in every village is an important strategy to meet mechanization needs of farmers particularly from small and marginal sections. Establishing expensive farm machines and implements in CHCs like combine harvesters for harvesting of paddy, wheat, groundnut, sugarcane, potato etc., straw baler and laser land leveller.
Establishment of precision agricultural technologies (fully automatic machinery) like automatic vehicle guidance system (remote control), variable rate technology’s (Agriculture Drone) for seeding, fertilizer and spraying need to be introduced. Extension activities like demonstration of new machineries and technologies to the farmers at village level need to be taken up.
To Read more about Custom Hiring Center Download March issue of Times of Agriculture Magazine
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