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Farm mechanisation to help meet grains demand

Asian Age 2017-12-08 02:12:00

Mumbai: Food grain demand in India is expected to reach 355 million tonnes in 2030 as compared to 250 million tonnes in 2016 and the enhancement of farm mechanisation market will play a crucial role in meeting this demand, said a paper by Grant Thornton and FICCI.

With growing employment opportunities in other sectors, labour is shifting from agriculture. The trend will reduce the supply of labour for agriculture, pushing the wages and overall cultivation cost of a farm product upwards.

It suggests that farm mechanisation will be seen as a key measure to improve both productivity and profitability.

Despite a growing economy, the percentage share of agricultural workers to total workforce has declined from 59.1 per cent in 1991 to 48.9 per cent in 2016, which is expected to further decline to 25.7 per cent by 2030 leading to severe labour shortage.

It noted that the trend can pose a serious threat. “While approximately 86 per cent of all farm land holdings belong to small and marginal farmers, machine penetration seems to be limited. Going forward, this must be an area of focus to promote overall growth within the industry at a time when agricultural labourers are moving to other sectors for better opportunities,” said Rahul Kapur, partner, Grant Thornton India LLP.