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|05-13-2011, 05:27 PM||#1|
Tractor price in Pakistan 2011-12
Tractor price in Pakistan 2011-12
Is Tractorization synonymous with Mechanization?
No, we need to understand that tractorization is not mechanization. A Tractor itself cannot improve or enhance yield. It is simply a source of power at a farm. The benefitsin terms of improved yield come from its effective and efficient utilization. This is possible by using properly designedfarm equipments, introduction of mechanised irrigation practices, review of agronomic practices,the use of high yielding variety seeds, and correct utilisation of fertilizerand chemicals.
It is praiseworthy to note that this current decade haswitnessed a significant improvement in the tractor population. We are currentlyselling an average of 70,000 tractors in the country. The demand is furtherincreasing due to better crop pricing, resulting in an increase in thepurchasing power of the farmer. This situation has encouraged the farmers,using primitive methods of farming that amount to 20% of the total cultivatedarea (24.50 million hectares), to start buying tractors and equipments tomechanize their lands. However, we are still at relatively low farmmechanization levels. We are operating at 0.6hp/acre against the worldrequirement of 1.5hp/acre.
Our government is putting in an effort to inviteforeign investors to start producing tractors in Pakistan in order to meet theshortage. There is a speculation that Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd. of Pakistan is in process ofsigning a contract with YTO International of China through a privateentrepreneur in order to supply 1000 tractors to their customers in Pakistan.
This is indeed good news, but at the same time itdemands a serious review to monitor and evaluate the performance of thesetractors in the field. Are we making right use of these tractors?
In absolute reality, we have to take the agriculturesector seriously as it provides employment, directly or indirectly, to almost70% of the total population, accommodates nearly 47% of employed labor-forceand contributes almost 21% to the GDP per annum.
According to the un-published report of ENERCON-90-170, July 1990"
Pakistani farmers treat tractors more or less in thesame way as the bullocks i.e. light loads and frequent rest. They generallylack in knowledge regarding operating characteristics and full capabilities oftheir tractors. Lightly loaded engines operated at high speeds, poor selectionof gears, under ballasting, and high tire inflation pressure are considered tobe the main causes of low efficiency.
The ineffective use of tractors was further confirmedby reviewing the agricultural Machinery Census, 2004. It indicates that thepercent share of the jobs done by our tractors: Cultivators 38%, Moldboard plow4%, Disk Harrow 2%, Disk Plow 3%, Seed Drill/Planter 7%, Ridger 7%, Trolley 25%and Thresher 14%.
If we take out the haulage work which amounts to 25%(Trolley) then 50% of the shares of all the agricultural jobs go to the cultivator.The scientific analysis of the extensive use of cultivators in the country notonly provide us with the reasons as to why there is no improvement in the yieldbut also has been identified as the main culprit of soil deterioration. Cultivatoris considered as the secondary tillage implement, it should be used to preparesoil for seed bed. Its job is to stir the soil; to make the surface soft forgood germination of the seed. The maximum depth this implement can penetrateinto the soil is not more than six inches. Our farmers are using this implement as a panacea,totally ignoring the importance of primary tillage equipments, whose primaryjob is to pulverize the soil (cut and invert) for which Mould board plows andDisc plows are recommended. As a resultof the extensive use of the cultivator a hard layer know as the “mechanicalpan" has been developed six inchesdown the surface making it almost impossible for roots to penetrate any deeper,thereby impeding the root development and nutrient uptake of the plant, with aconsequent reduction in yield. Anyone canphysically examine the situation by digging the soil to a depth of one meter. The top 6 inches of the soil will confirm thepresence of minimal organic matter, while the sub-soil would be foundcompletely devoid of all organic material with no traces of root growth. TheCultivator is one of the causes of loosing soil fertility in the long run,because the tractor has to make several passes (minimum 7 or 8) to prepare thesoil for seedbed causing compaction and consolidation due to effects of trafficon the soil.
There is a dire need to structure and organize the implementmanufacturing industry to make the best use of tractors, improve soilstructure, enhance fertility and improve yield. The implements/ equipments required in thecountry should be standardized in terms of their design, assembly andmaterials. Currently there are more than 1000 manufacturers of agriculturalimplements. They are mostly blacksmiths operating from small workshops. Theyhave low skill level workers with no education and training on modernmanufacturing practices. The technology being used by these manufacturers areobsolete and in-efficient. Thesemanufacturers sometimes design and /or alter the design of existing implementswithout having any knowledge of designing and mechanical engineering. Forinstance, some twenty years back a new plow that has a resemblance of the M BPlow was designed by these people called "punjhali". Thedesign and configuration of this implement is impractical, creating huge drafton the tractor and making it difficult for the boards to penetrate the soil toany depth.
In order to make the productive use of tractors, replacement oftraditional and inefficient implements with improved ones are requiredimmediately. Custom hiring of implements for deep ploughing (should be doneevery three years), rotavators/ rotary tillers, combine harvesters, drillingand boring machines, bull dozers and other specialised equipments should begiven to the farmers on subsidized hire charges.
With all these steps taken to improve/strengthen mechanisation to boostagricultural production and productivity, we should not forget thatmechanisation is not the only factor contributing towards high crop yield.
We have to cut down the sustained use of flood irrigation, should startapplication of fertilizer on the basis of soil testing, keep a check on over applicationof pesticides, stop using spurious seeds, promote use of seed drills andplanters and last but not the least timely sowing and harvesting.