Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization
Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM)
Agricultural land area is becoming limited in our nation. Due to the growth in population, the demand for food is rapidly increasing. The Government has taken this into consideration and has been taking initiatives to increase food productivity in the limited land. Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanism (SMAM) is implemented in every state to promote farm mechanization. Let us look in detail about SMAM in this article.
- Increase the reach of farm mechanization to small and marginal farmers and to the regions where availability of farm power is low.
- Promote ‘Custom Hiring Centres’ to balance the adverse economics of scale arising from small landholding and high cost of individual ownership.
- Create hubs for hi-tech and high-value farm equipment.
- Create awareness among stakeholders through capacity building activities.
- Make sure performance testing and certification at designed testing centres that are situated throughout the country.
SMAM adopts the following strategies to achieve the objectives mentioned above:
- Conduct performance testing for several farm machinery and equipment at the four Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institutes (FMTTIs), designed State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) and ICAR institutions.
- Promote farm mechanization among stakeholders via on-field and off-field training and demonstrations.
- Offer financial assistance to small and marginal farmers to hire machinery and implement low specialized regions.
- Establish custom hiring centres of the location and crop-specific farm machinery and implements.
- Providing financial assistance to small or marginal farmers for hiring machinery and implement low specialized regions.
- Promotion and strengthening of Agricultural Mechanization via training, testing and demonstration.
- Demonstration, training and distribution of the Post Harvest Technology and Management (PHTM).
- Financial assistance to obtain agricultural machinery and equipment.
- Establish farm machinery banks for custom hiring.
- Establish a Hi-Tech and high productive equipment hub for custom hiring.
- Promotion of farm mechanization in selected villages.
- Financial assistance to promote mechanized operations per hectare carried out through custom hiring centres.
- Promote farm machinery and equipment in the North-Eastern Region.
Farm Mechanization programmes are implemented through other missions/schemes such as RKVY, MIDH, NMOOP and SMAM. The Central Sector schemes ‘Post-Harvest Technology and Management’ and ‘Promotion and Strengthening of Agricultural Mechanization through Training, Testing and Demonstration’ are also combined with this Sub-Mission.
DAC&FW (Department of Agriculture & Cooperation) allocates funds to the State and Implementing Agencies depending on the following parameters:
- 50% weightage to the proportion of states’ cultivable area to the total cultivable area of the country
- 50% weightage to the proportion of the state under small and marginal holdings to the total area under small and marginal farmers.
- Release of flexi-funds is made on a pro-rata basis with normal releases of SMAM.
- Funds are released to the States and Implementing Agencies as per Rule 238 of GFRs 2017 (General Financial Rules).
- The release of the first instalment is made after the approval of Annual Action Plan (AAP) and release of the second instalment on the submission of Utilization Certificate for at least 50% of the funds that are released as the first instalment, detailed Physical and Financial Report etc. according to the provisions of GFRs.
- Only 10% of the total unspent balance would be permitted to be carried over to the next financial year. The remaining unspent balance would be adjusted in the amount that would be released as the second instalment.
- If a State Government/Implementing Agency does not seek the release of the second instalment, the unspent balance amounting 10% would be deducted from the release of the first instalment during the upcoming fiscal.
- There is no release of the second instalment after January; only the re-located funds would be released to the better performing States. These measures assist in timely and optimum utilization of resources.
- From April 2015, DAC&FW transfers funds electronically to the State Governments and Institutions. The departments prepare a digitized list of all implementing agencies for the same and PFMS of CGA would be used for this purpose.
- Respective State Governments and Institutions make sure that cash component under this Sub-Mission is transferred electronically to every beneficiary.
- The State Government ensures that the eligible beneficiary is provided with Aadhaar since it takes the responsibility to issue Aadhaar. The enrolment of such beneficiaries is carried out on a priority basis at the permanent enrolment centres and the benefits would not be denied for not having Aadhaar number by the beneficiary.
The mission strives for the growth of farm mechanization in the country in the next five years in terms of human resource development, farm power availability, productivity and quality assurance of agricultural machinery.