Study of farm machinery services provided by selected Cooperative Societies
Keywords:Farm Mechanization, Farm Machinery Services, Break Even Analysis, Farm Machinery Cost Analysis, Co-operative Societies
Agriculture mechanization played a significant economic role by increasing agriculture production and reducing cost of cultivation. New technologies are available to the farmers for increasing productivity and overall returns. But this technology is out of reach of small and marginal farmers, who cannot afford purchase of these machines with their meagre resources. Such farmers resort to custom hiring of machines form cooperatives or from large agencies providing such facilities. But the machines which have high demand also command higher rental values. This study was planned to gather information regarding nature of services provided by these agencies, the costs analysis w.r.t the annual usage and to identify the machines that gave best Return on Investment (ROI). Seven custom hiring cooperative centres located in South Western region of Punjab were selected for the study. Each of these centres had a high powered tractor. Rotavator, laser land leveller, disc harrow and cotton drill were found to be the most common machines among all the centres, implying that these machines were in most demand by the farmers. The tractors had an average annual usage of 900 hours, and that for the tillage machinery such as rotavator, cultivator, disc harrow and laser leveller was close to 550 hours. Machinery such as the hydraulic trolley and water tank were also in great demand amounting to nearly 750 and 800 hours of annual use. Machines such as the generator, blower-fan, and the tanker were mostly used for non-agricultural operations. Most of the machines being used for agricultural operations had annual usage above 200 hours. The cost analysis showed that while for all the machines the break-even annual usage was exceeded, the hydraulic trolley and the bund former were used sufficiently. It was also found that the returns were maximum for the laser leveller and for the cultivator, while machines like the rotavator, the tractor, which had high ROI, were way behind the returns generated by the laser leveller. The study also showed that all the custom hiring centres were running in profit.