Here is a compilation of essays on ‘Farm Mechanization’ for class 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Farm Mechanization’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay on Farm Mechanization
- Essay on the Introduction to Farm Mechanization
- Essay on the Objectives of Farm Mechanization
- Essay on the Socio-Economic-Political Problems of Farm Mechanisation
- Essay on the Advantages of Farm Mechanization
- Essay on the Disadvantages of Farm Mechanization
Essay # 1. Introduction to Farm Mechanization:
Mechanization of agriculture is the increasing use of modern machines to curb reliance on human participation at a lesser level. After industrial revolution, consistent efforts were made to reduce dependence of human labour to reduce wage and increase efficiency and productivity of crops.
It had obviously started from Europe but later on gradually spread over U.S.A., Canada, Argentina, Australia and different parts of the globe. The underdeveloped world in Asia and Africa, however, was slow to adopt the mechanization process owing to paucity of fund and non-access to technological infrastructure.
Mechanization process covered various aspects of farming system like irrigation, ploughing, harvesting, use and preparation of fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, conservation and storage of crops, marketing and export of the product, etc.
Essay # 2. Objectives of Farm Mechanization:
The principal objectives of the farm mechanization process are:
i. Less Dependence on labour:
Machines substituted human labour to a great extent, e.g., a tractor can substitute the work of 25 or more labourers. In developed countries—where population is sparse — machines were considered miracle-relief.
ii. Prompt speedy and trouble-free operation:
Machines operate promptly. They are comparatively less troublesome to maintain. Machines can perform for long hours, if properly maintained.
iii. Enhanced efficiency:
Sophisticated machines increase efficiency at such a level that they reduce production cost substantially.
iv. Enhanced productivity:
Unlike human labour—which has a physical limit—machines can be run continuously to increase productivity.
v. Cost reduction:
Unlike manual labour—which raises the demand for wage revision—machines require far less recurring expenses.
Essay # 3. Socio-Economic-Political Problems of Farm Mechanisation:
Mechanization, though having several merits, is not a flawless system. It increases several socio-economic-political problems.
Some of these are:
i. Retrenchment of labour:
Large-scale retrenchment of labour often creates massive unemployment problem in densely populated countries where labour-intensive agriculture prevails. This may aggravate social tension that, ultimately, disrupts economic and political harmony.
ii. Adverse effects on ecology:
It is now an established fact that all indigenous farming methods were developed gradually keeping in mind the local environment. These are all environment-friendly and time-tested. Contrarily, mechanized farming accelerates soil erosion, indiscriminate use of pesticide and insecticide may endanger aquatic life, birds, animals and even vegetation of the concerned area.
Mishandling and misusing of machines may bring disastrous long term problems to the land.
iv. Increasing cost of production:
Initial investment and repairing charge of machines are high and not affordable by the poor people, so, agriculture will become an occupation of the rich landlords and corporate sector, only. This would, again, increase social tension.
Essay # 4. Advantages of Farm Mechanization:
Farm mechanization has many advantages:
One of the main advantages of machinery is that it enables the various jobs on the farm to be done more quickly. It is estimated, for instance, that preparation of a padi-field using a buffalo-drawn plough takes about 90 hours per hectare (36 hours per acre). Since the buffalo can only work 5 to 6 hours per day this means that several days are needed.
On the other hand, using a tractor, the same area can be ploughed in about 7½ hours per hectare (3 hours per acre). Even using smaller pedestrian operated cultivators the time taken is only about 12 or 15 hours per hectare (5-6 hours per acre), i.e. only 1/12 or 1/6 the time required.
Speed is a great advantage to farmers for several reasons:
(a) On large farms, such as the wheat farms of the Prairies, speed is essential to plant the crop quickly in the spring so that no time is wasted or to deal with the large harvest before it is spoiled by frost or rain. Where farms are large, therefore, machines are vital to smooth operation.
(b) Speed is a great advantage when the farmer has to work to a tight schedule. For instance, where double-cropping is practised the work of harvesting one crop, tilling the land and planting the new crop usually has to be done in only a few weeks. On mixed farms, too, where there are many varied calls on the farmer’s time, mechanization allows each job to be done quickly so that it does not interfere with other work.
ii. Reduced labour input:
Mechanization greatly reduces the amount of labour required to plant, protect (with spray insecticides, etc.), fertilize and harvest crops. It is thus ideal in areas where there is a shortage of farm labour, e.g. in North America and Britain. Machines are particularly important at certain seasons, e.g. during the harvest, when there is most work to do. For instance, the old cotton plantations of southern U.S.A. were once reliant on large supplies of negro labour for harvesting.
Nowadays, however, with the drift of the negroes to the towns, the supply of labour for field work has diminished and cotton harvesting machines are the best solution to the problem. Machinery is also essential on large farms, which would be uneconomic to work if large numbers of farm hands had to be employed.
Where new irrigation schemes have made it possible to use the land more intensively, e.g. by double instead of single-cropping, the amount of work the farmer and his assistants have to do is greatly increased, but by using machinery the work can be done at little extra cost in man-hours. Productivity per worker will therefore be much greater.
iii. Better quality, less wastage:
The use of mechanization for harvesting a crop can often lead to better quality. For instance, machine harvested grain crops, such as wheat or rice, are far cleaner and freer of unwanted dirt or rubbish than they would be if harvested by hand. This means that the value of the crop is enhanced and less processing is required. Moreover, in harvesting many crops speed is important. Thus if the crops can be quickly gathered by machinery the resulting product will be of better quality.
Mechanization of crop protection measures, such as spraying of insecticides, or fertilizer application, ensures that more of the plants remain healthy and larger crops can be obtained. The use of a single machine such as a combine-harvester to cut, thresh and sack grain crops will involve far less wastage than if these processes were done separately, a little of the grain being lost in each transfer from one process to the other. Moreover, the reduction of the human error in harvesting often means that a larger proportion of the crop is obtained by machines.
Because machines can speed up processes and reduce labour requirements they are often cheaper in the long term than manual or animal labour, even though the initial capital outlay may be high. For instance, in the case of ploughing padi-fields the cost of using a tractor is about one- third that of using a buffalo. In the case of harvesting, machines are also much cheaper than employing extra labour.
Essay # 5. Disadvantages of Farm Mechanization:
Despite the many advantages to be gained from farm mechanization, a lack of proper planning can lead to many problems which may partially offset the advantages in the short term.
The reduction in labour requirements can reduce costs and lead to greater efficiency and productivity, but in areas where agriculture is traditionally labour-intensive, mechanization must be introduced gradually so that workers are not replaced before they can find alternative employment.
In the long term, mechanization will create increased employment, because greater output will require more people for handling, packing, sorting or processing the crops, and there will be many more jobs for mechanics, drivers and machine- maintenance men.
But if mechanization is introduced too rapidly little time is available for training people in these jobs. This may throw the untrained men out of work, and may also lead to a shortage of skilled men who can operate the new equipment.
Most of the farmers will not know how to drive the machines, how to look after them or how to get the best results from them in the fields. This could drive up labour costs for trained drivers and mechanics, since such men would be able to demand high wages. This problem, like that of unemployment, can be overcome if there is careful advance planning by a central agency, or by cooperatives or farmers’ associations to train farmers in time.
ii. Over Equipment:
If mechanization is not carefully planned there is the danger that farmers will buy too many machines for the size of their farms. For instance, most equipment is designed for a special purpose and is therefore only used at certain times of the year. It would probably be uneconomic, except on very large farms, for a farmer to own a full range of equipment for ploughing, harrowing, seed-drilling and harvesting.
The answer to this problem is to make sure, either through a government agency or a co-operative, that an efficient equipment loan service or contracting service can supply the required machinery at a reasonable cost. Individual farmers can then decide which machines to purchase and which to merely hire for a short period each year.
On very small farms the purchase of expensive equipment is simply uneconomic, because the farmer never makes enough profit to purchase machinery. Thus, where farms tend to be small, as in Asia, the best way of increasing mechanization is through co-operatives and farmers’ associations, or by the sharing of equipment among a number of farmers.
iii. Machine Management:
Machines are only efficient as long as they are regularly and carefully serviced and maintained. If they are used too much, e.g. by a contracting firm trying to make quick profits, or too little, e.g. by a farmer using the machine only for his own small plot, they are likely to deteriorate. As machines become less efficient the costs of production rise.
Another factor is that if machinery is introduced in a new area the local people may be unfamiliar with machines; they may use them wrongly, omit to service them or allow them to stand in the open and rust, through ignorance. Thus the introduction of machinery should always be accompanied by careful training and the provision of servicing facilities.
iv. Uneven Mechanization:
The initial cost of farm machines tends to be very high. Thus only those with sufficient capital can afford to purchase equipment for themselves. This is the main reason why the farmers of Europe and North America employ so much more equipment than African or Asian farmers. Their standard of living is higher, their crops are of better quality and fetch a higher price and they can therefore afford more labour-saving devices.
Where mechanization is only just being introduced, however, many of the farmers are probably too poor to buy machines. Some, too, will resist mechanization if it upsets their traditional way of life. Thus some farms in an area will become far more efficient than others. This may lead to personal conflicts, or to difficulties of operating large schemes, e.g. irrigation schemes, which rely on allowing water to flood all the fields at a particular time.
Another way in which uneven mechanization can arise is if the equipment for one operation is much cheaper than that for another. For example, small pedestrian operated ploughs are relatively cheap and many padi farmers can afford to buy them. On the other hand, combine harvesters for padi are very expensive and thus few people can afford them.
This means that while field preparation is becoming fairly mechanized, harvesting is still done in the old labour-intensive ways. The labour which is required for harvesting, however, will be underemployed during other seasons when more machines are used.
If mechanization has taken place in one type of farming in a country, while labour-intensive methods are used in another, this may well create regional disparities in incomes and standards of living.
Summarizing the various advantages and disadvantages it is clear that if mechanization is not carefully planned or if it is introduced too rapidly in areas where it has traditionally not been used, it can lead to certain problems. In general these can be overcome by adequate planning and in the long term farm mechanization will increase efficiency, output and productivity.