Contribution and small and marginal land holdings (less

 

            Contribution
of agricultural sector in Economic growth of Pakistan is shrinking every year due
to perpetual use of orthodox practices by the farming community which aggravate
the ever widening rural-urban income fissure. Agricultural mechanization plays
a paramount role in improving agricultural production and productivity in
developing countries. The average farm size in Pakistan is small (2.5 acres)
and small and marginal land holdings (less than 2.0 ha) account for 85% of land
holdings. Mechanizing small and non-contiguous group of small farms is against
‘economies of scale’ for individual ownership of farm machinery.
It was observed that there was a direct correlation between farm power
availability and productivity during the past six decades. Being an agrarian
country, mechanization can be called as back bone of Pakistan’s economy as it
optimizes the use of biological, chemical and hydrological inputs. So far,
Pakistan has only experienced selective farm mechanization as this concept has
remained limited to use of tractors only and at the country level, the temporal
analysis shows that an increase in tractor population from 1975 -1984 was about
341% while it was 61% from 1984-1994. At present there are about 0.94 million
tractors in Pakistan, which alone provides 0.84 hp/acre. Land preparation is
the only operation that is nearly 100% mechanized in the country for almost all
crops with 901 thousand chisel plough and 108 thousand Mould board ploughs. The
market of planting and spraying machinery has grown from 70 and 21 thousands in
2004 to 295 and 1438 thousands in 2014 respectively due to the inclination of
the farming community towards mechanized sowing and spraying. The thrasher’s
market in Pakistan is estimated at 20,000-30,000 units annually by sales
resulting in nearly 100% mechanized threshing operation for cereal crops. By
increasing the available horse power per hectare and by the proper management
of agricultural machinery the average crop yield can be enhanced.

 

1. Farm power
availability in Pakistan:

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      Farm power is a fundamental part of
present day mechanization of agriculture. Despite the fact that, the tractor is
among one of main energy source at farm level yet the draft animals ,
horticultural laborers, little scale diesel motors and electric engines (Table
1) are utilized as a source of energy in the country (Iqbal et al., 2015). The
quantity of tractors was around 300 thousand before twentieth century’s over
and there was almost 100% increase in number of tractors from 2002 to 2007
(GOP, 2008). The quantity of tractor developed from almost 700 thousands out of
2008 to 948 thousands in 2014, having a power from 50 – 80 hp, yet main share
of them fall in 50 torque classification (GOP, 2015). In view of the number of
tractors in Pakistan for the year 2013-14 (GOP, 2015) and total cropped area of
22.68 million hectares (GOP, 2011), there is one tractor for each 24 hectares
of farm land. In order to avail power requirements, an induction of nearly 130
thousands of tractors was recommended by the year 2017. The current
manufacturing facilities available in the country are enough to produce the
required number of tractors as almost all the manufacturing facilities are
working on single shift basis.

2. Present status
of farm mechanization in Pakistan:

  In Pakistan
income is very low. Agriculture is most essential sector because of its main
duty of providing health nutritious food to the quickly increasing population.
In order to enhance the production of land, appropriate mechanization strategy
should be adapted developed and by keeping in view the past situation of
mechanization in the country. This following passages will sum up data in
regards to the level of farm mechanization in the country and try to indicate
the weak zones of the field.

 

                       Table 1 Different sources
of farm power available in country

 

 
Power Source

 
Average
HP Capacity

 
Population

 
Available HP

 
Tractors

             
              50

 
        948,919

 
     47445950

 
Work
Animals

 
             0.5

 
        200000

    
     100000

 
Human
Labor

 
             0.1

 
        38.6*106

 
      38.6*106

 
Tube
wells

 
           16.75

       
        1075073

 
      18007473

 

 

 

2.1 Mechanization
for land development in Pakistan:

       Pakistan is expecting to have twice
population and become 4th largest nation by 2050 from          current status of the 6th most
populous state of the world (Feeney and Alam, 2003). The total farm land has
increased by just 40% during past 60 years, while there was more than 4 times
increase in population with urban expansion of over seven-folds resulting into
mega-cities as well as rising population pressure on cultivated land (Ahmad,
2007). Agricultural total area in the country is 30.95 million hectares out of
which only 22.68 million hectares is being actually cultivated (GOP, 2011). All
cropped area come down from 23.76 million hectares to 22.54 million hectares
during 2009 to 2014 due to severe floods, water shortage and salinity issues in
the country cause to enhance of cultivable waste land from 8.14 to 8.27 million
hectares over the same period (GOP, 2011). A major portion of that cultivable
8.27 million hectares waste could be brought under cultivation by harnessing
the available water resources, and using mechanical power. Cultivable waste
land development can be done by using earth traction equipment through tractor
front mounted blades, dozers, land levelers and excavator. Figure 2 Increase in
number of tractors (GOP, Tractor mounted front blades are available through
private sector while bulldozers for land development are available from the
public sector. This cultivable waste land can economically be developed for
cultivation through the use of crawler tractors/bulldozers only. The existing
fleet of 338 operational bulldozers in Punjab (GOP, 2015), 84 in Sindh (GOS,
2015) is insufficient to convert 3.52 million hectares of cultivable waste land
into the productive. It is roughly calculated that with the present power of
bulldozers, it will take about 100 years to develop the total cultivable waste
land of Province Punjab.

 

 

                               Yearwise total
cropped area vs culturable waste

 

 

 

 

2.2
Mechanization for tillage and seed bed preparation in Pakistan:

   Mostly in Pakistan, primary and secondary
tillage operations are adopted for soil. Primary tillage is opening of the
compacted soil with the help of different ploughs to break the hard pan caused
by compacted soils. Furthermore, primary tillage is opening of the compacted
soil with the assistance of various plough to break the hard pan caused by
compacted soils. Secondary tillage on the other hand is performed after primary
tillage for lighter or finer operations as after primary tillage, the fields
are left with large clods with some weeds and partially uprooted stubbles.. Cultivator
is the most widely used implement for primary as well as secondary tillage of
soil and is growing radically during the last four decades. The availability of
the cultivator in the country has augmented from 369 thousands in 2004 to 901
thousands in 2014, whereas the share of moldboard plow, disc plow, disc harrow,
rotavator and chisel plow has enlarged from 40 to 189, 29 to 142, 23 to 94, 47 to
113 and 8 to 47 thousands respectively, during the same period (Table 2).
Continues increase in the cultivator is due to its low draft requirement and
also its price is considerably less as compared to the other tillage
implements. Repeated use of cultivator not only creates hardpan which adversely
effects root development/penetration, but it does not fulfill the purpose of
tillage as described above. Most of the progressive farmers do use mould board
plow and disc plow for primary tillage and disc harrow and rotary tiller
(rotavator) for secondary tillage specially for sowing of wheat after paddy and
cotton in Punjab. Protection culturing practices, for example, zero tillage for
sowing of wheat in fields with rice stubbles, perpetual beds culturing for sowing
of cotton on beds of past harvest and mulch or stubble culturing for
maintenance of past product stubbles in the field are additionally drilled on
restricted scale not exclusively to limit cost of culturing and seedbed
readiness, yet additionally to moderate ozone harming substances.

   Table 2 Growth of different tillage
implements during the last four decades (GOP, 2015)

 

 
Years

 
Cultivators

 
MB Plough

 
Disc Plough

 
Disc Harrow

 
Chisel
Plough

 
Rotavator

 
1984

 
146863

 
7319

 
6355

 
8140

 
712

 
2101

 
1994
 

 
236272

 
28413

 
20372

 
12233

 
6535

 
5594

 
2004

 
369866

 
40050

 
29218

 
23764

 
8514

 
47919

 
2014

 
901473

 
189784

 
142338

 
94892

 
47446

 
113870

 

 

2.3 Mechanization
in sowing and planting in Pakistan:

 The selection of suitable sowing
equipment can play an imperative role in suitable crop establishment by
maintaining the sowing depth appropriately (Tanveer et al., 2003). The optimum
plant population and row to row distance can only be achieved if appropriate
sowing machinery is used. The main reason for low crop yield in Punjab is
scanty plant population (Iqbal et al., 2015). Due to time limitation or high
cost of tillage and seedbed preparation, most of the farmers spread seed
through broadcasting (Iqbal et al., 2012). This trend of lower or partial mechanization
in sowing continues to exist in the other provinces of the country which
neither provides desired plant population nor results in proper yield. For
sowing of row crops like cotton, maize, sunflower, groundnut and others,
multi-crop planters are commonly used which maintains designed plant to plant
distance (Farooq et al., 1992). Use of such planters may also require more than
recommended seed rate (Singh et al., 2005). In order to overcome this problem,
pneumatic planters, inclined/vertical seed plate planters are used in Punjab on
a very limited scale. A rapid increment has been observed in the market share
of the sowing machinery with an annual sale of approximately 22 thousand
implements over the last one decade (GOP, 2015). The growth in the number of
drills and planters is just 52 thousands during the 1984 to 1994 (GOP, 2004),
whereas the market of these implements has grown from 70 thousands in 2004 to
295 thousands in 2014 due to the inclination of the farming community towards
mechanized sowing. The increment in purchase of sowing machine was more than
200% and this promptly increasing trend during the last ten years illustrates
that farming community has now realized the adaption of suitable sowing
machinery is indispensable for proper crop stand, which is the key to success.
The market for self-propelled (walking and riding type) rice transplanters in
Pakistan was almost zero 5-6 years back as the rice transplantation was done
completely manually with the use of labor. Presently, many companies in
Pakistan are importing rice trans-planters from China and Korea and marketing
them in the rice-wheat zones of country.

 

 

 

 

2.4 Mechanization
in harvesting and threshing in Pakistan:

             Harvesting of cereal crops, in Pakistan, is a problem
since long as this still manually done operation. Tractor mounted reaper
windrowers and combine harvesters are also used to a greater extent. Harvesting
losses due to delayed harvesting as well as use of inappropriate harvesting
machinery for wheat, rice and other oilseed crops has been estimated to be
around 10%-15% .Harvesting of rice done with wheat combines results in
excessive grain loss and reduced rice recovery. This also results into
increased grain breakage during milling operation. Presently, wheat threshing
in Pakistan is almost fully mechanized. Threshing of wheat is mostly done with
the help of stationary threshers which are powered through tractor PTO, engine
or electric motors. The commercially produced wheat threshers are although of high
throughput capacity but are heavy in weight and thus costly, energy
inefficient, ergonomically unsafe. Threshing of basmati rice is generally done
manually, but on a very limited scale head feeding type threshers are also
used. For threshing of coarse grain rice, whole crop threshers are also
available. Chickpea in the country is usually threshed with little
modifications in wheat thresher and by incorporating proper size sieves. The
thrasher’s market in Pakistan is estimated at 20,000-30,000 units annually by
sales resulting in nearly 100% mechanized threshing operation for cereal crops.
The tractor mounted stationary thresher grows from 137 thousands in 2004 to 353
thousands in 2014. The growth of combine harvester is quite slow and grew from
3 thousands to 29 thousands during the last ten years. This slow growth is due
to the high cost of the machine and relatively small farm size which makes it
unaffordable for local small land holders.

 

 

 

 

2.5 Current Status of Maize Production in
Pakistan:

Ø  After wheat and
rice, maize is third important cereal

Ø  Maize accounts for
4.8% of the total cropped area and 3.5% of the value of agricultural output.

Ø  Planted on an
estimated area of 0.9 million hectare with an annual production of 1.3
million tonnes.

Ø  The bulk (97%) of
the total production come from two major provinces, NWFP, accounting for 57% of
the total area and 68% of total production. Punjab contribute 38% acreage with
30% of total maize grain production.

 

2.6 Mechanization of Corn in Pakistan:

               While mechanization has been
widely adopted in Pakistan for certain production operation i.e. land
preparation, seeding & shelling, the use of tractors in planting,
intercultural and harvesting has not been optimized. The use of tractor is
widespread in low and mid-land altitude area in NWFP and Central Punjab. More
than 80% of maize farmers in both areas use mechanical sheller. Since the
improved cultivation of many crops and maize in particular is machine oriented.
The growing labour shortage and increased input level further aggravates the
use of machinery while excellent farm machinery exists but the cost is too high
for adoption by farmers and custom tractor operators. Greater availability of
such tractor powered equipment offer one of the best strategies for increasing
the productivity of maize and many other crops. Successful maize research and development programmers share
common elements. First, they must be able to develop superior maize varieties
and hybrids and generate high-yielding technologies that are appropriate in
typical farming systems. Second, seed production and distribution systems be in
place so that farmers can obtain quality seed of the appropriate varieties at
reasonable prices and in timely fashion. Finally the local and national
marketing systems for maize must provide sufficient incentives to the farmers
for intensifying production.

 

3. Conclusion:

       The yield gap can be covered
by introducing advanced farm equipment and the enhanced use of farm equipment.
To maintain the crop yield and to fulfill food requirements, use of machinery
viz. drill, planters, tractors, harvesting machinery and sprayers is enhanced.
A lot of opportunities exist in Pakistan to get benefits from this sector but
this can only be realized by introducing effective policies and strategies at
the government level. The strengthening and effectiveness of research
institutes of the country are also necessary which will ultimately lead to a
better utilization of innovative machinery for better productions. In this
course, I have learnt

v  Precisely
mechanized sowing of maize  by using Corn
Planter (seed metering device) in China

v  Adaption
of suitable machinery for rice transplanting to maximize yield as it is
successful in China.

v  Mechanized
vegetables grafting as it is being  used
in  90 % vegetables in China

v  Modern
mechanization for potato crop in China.

For future perspective, above
mentioned modern mechanization could be efficiently utilize to enhance the per
acre yield of different crops in Pakistan.