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An economic analysis on costs of farm mechanization in west bengal

Author: 
Debashis Sarkar and Debajit Roy
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

An attempt has been made in this paper to examine the costs of mechanization vis-à-vis marketed surplus and value of output for the different crops grown in the study region. It has been observed that small size and scattered holdings of the farmers stand in the way of mechanization and farm machinery generally remains underutilized. Majority of small cultivators are poor and cannot purchase the costly machinery like tractors, combine harvesters etc. Still animal power is used extensively on different farm operations, besides manual, electrical and tractor power in West Bengal. In fact, the major cost items in farming operations comes out to be ploughing which is mostly operated using animal power. This is followed by irrigation operations which is entirely carried out using electrical power and transportation and marketing which is mostly done using tractor power. It also comes out from the analysis that among the various operations performed with various power sources, tractor power is the highest used power source followed by animal power, electrical power and manual power. Hence it appears that in various farming operations, both tractor power and animal power remains crucial, while use of manual power is negligible. Use of electrical power however is limited and used for specific activities. The study highlights that full scale farm mechanization is still an unreal proposition in the farm sector in West Bengal. However, operation specific farm mechanization may be crucial at this stage.

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