Press Trust of india

Centre releases Rs 553 cr to states for agricultural mechanization

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New Delhi:  The Centre has released Rs 553 crore to states under a scheme to promote mechanization in the agriculture sector.

The Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) was launched in April 2014 with an aim to have inclusive growth of farm mechanization to boost productivity.

“In the year 2020-21, budget of Rs 1,033 crore has been provided for the scheme, out of which Rs 553 crore has been released to state governments,” an official statement said.

Agricultural mechanization helps in increasing production through timely farm operations and cut in operations by ensuring better management of inputs.

Mechanization also enhances the productivity of natural resources and reduces drudgery associated with various farm operations.

The agriculture ministry pointed out that paddy straw burning is one of the major problems in the northern region of the country causing pollution.

With an objective of moving away farmers of this region from the practice of crop residue burning, the scheme of CRM (Crop Residue Management) was initiated in 2018 wherein, farmers are provided machinery for in-situ management of crop residue through establishment of CHCs (Custom Hiring Centres).

Individual farmers are also provided subsidy for procurement of machinery. Total funds of Rs 11,78.47 crore were provided in the year 2018-19 & 2019-20 to Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT.

“In 2020-21, Rs.600 crore has been provided in the budget for the scheme and Rs 548.20 crore have been released to the states well before time to ensure they can take up the activities in advance,” the statement said.

The agriculture ministry has also developed a Multi lingual Mobile App, ‘CHC- Farm Machinery’ which connects farmers with Custom Hiring Service Centres situated in their locality.

This app is facilitating agricultural mechanization in the country by encouraging small and marginal farmers to take machines on rental basis for agriculture practices without them having to purchase such high priced machines.

The app has been further modified and been given the acronym of “FARMS-app” (Farm Machinery Solutions-app).

The revised version is more user-friendly and the scope of the app has also been enhanced, the statement said.

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