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March 16, 2015

In India, Human's Share of Power in Farming Drops to 5%

A recent study by C R Mehta and his colleagues at the Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering finds that over 90% of power for farming is now drawn from mechanical sources, while the share of human power has dropped to 5%.


This Economic Times article explains:


"Four decades ago... 60% of the power was provided by humans and animals... Tractors have made the biggest stride, from a mere 7% to 47%... overall farm mechanization in India has reached only about 40%, compared to 95% levels in advanced countries. 'This means that 40% of farm operations for major crops are done by mechanical power sources and 60% is still being done by animate power sources (human + draught animal) that generate only 10% of the total power available in farming.'...It would be logical to assume that as machines take over agricultural operations, people are freed up from this onerous work. But this is not happening. There were 111 million cultivators and 75 million agricultural labourers in 1991 as per the Census. But, in Census 2011, there were 119 million cultivators and a jaw-dropping 144 million agricultural labourers..."


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