Farm Machinery and Power

Ongoing Projects

Concluded Projects


Ongoing Projects:

Title: All India Coordinated Research Project on Ergonomics and Safety in Agriculture

Contributors: Dr. D. K. Vatsa

Objectives: To create database on ergonomical parameters of hill agricultural workers and to develop the equipment / technology for increasing production, reducing drudgery and minimizing accidents in agricultural and allied activities through application of ergonomics. 

Duration: 2009 to Continuing till date

Salient Findings: The status report has been prepared for identifying the suitable technology using Ergonomics in hilly areas for different farm operations. The power tiller, sowing and harvesting equipments have been selected for Ergonomical studies.


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Concluded Projects:

Title: All India Coordinate Research Project on Extensive Testing of Power Tillers and Matching Equipments

Contributors: Dr. D.K. Vatsa

Objectives: To investigate the utility of power tiller in production of other crops besides paddy and develop the matching equipment to increase the utilization of power tiller for different crops and different condition of farming for hilly region. To educate farmers on the significance of use and maintenance of power tiller and improved farm equipments through various media including demonstration. 

Duration: 1980-1998

Summary: To make the hilly farms sustainable, it is imperative to introduce small power source like power tiller and matching equipments. The various power tillers have been tested and found that 15 h.p. power tillers are suitable for valley region where vertical interval of terraces is less than 0.3 meter. The number of matching equipments such as, potato planter, potato digger, multi-crop planter were developed and found suitable for terrace farming. In addition, number of farm equipments were also procured from other parts of the country for evaluation. The technology has been transferred to the farmers field and farmers have been using these technologies successfully for their farms operations.


Title: Development of Tools And Implements to Reduce Drudgery Of Women in Hill Agriculture.

Contributors: Dr. D.K. Vatsa and Dr. S.P. Singh

Objectives: Study the present practices in carrying out various farm operations and evaluate improved farm tools and implements for use by the women in hills.

Duration: 1995-1998 (Three years)

Summary: In hills, 80 % of the manual power met out by women folk for completing the agricultural operations. The use of animal power is limited to land preparation for 40-50 days in a year. To utilize the animal power properly and reduce the drudgery of farm woman,  an animal drawn clod breaker was developed and modified for breaking clods. The animal drawn clod breaker had a capacity of 0.096 ha/h which save 90 % labour and consume 50 % less energy as compared to manual system. In addition, power tillers were also found suitable for land preparation.  The effective field capacity was 0.06 - 0.07 ha/h with power tillers at a field efficiency of 50-60 %, which is 4-5 times higher than bullock system. For sowing wheat crop, the manual seed drill and multi-crop planters were found suitable because 40 % labour and 75 % cost can be saved than sowing behind plough. Power tiller multi-crop planter was also found suitable for sowing major crops of the region. Traditional khunti used for interculture operation has very low capacity tool. To increase the capacity, wheel hoes were found best for weeding operation.

    Falcon and CIAE serrated sickles were found best among the various sickles tested and have gave higher capacity.  No discomfort has been reported by the farm women while using the serrated sickles in wheat crop. The capacity of tubular maize sheller and hand operated maize sheller were 16.6 and 40.5 kg/h which was 7.78 and 3.2 times higher over traditional shelling of maize.  The tubular maize sheller was found efficient for shelling of maize when used by farm women. It was felt that small and marginal farmers comprising 80 % of total farmers should be given priority for mechanisation.  There is a need to introduce power operated implements which will not only reduce drudgery but attract the young farmers in agricultural work. Custom hiring of agriculture equipment needs to be given all possible support and encouragement through educated unemployed youth of the state for mechanization because farmers can not afford all the improved agricultural tools and implements for all the agricultural operations.


Title : Study Relating to Formulating Long Term Mechanization Strategy for each Agro-climatic Zone/State

Contributor: Er. Sukhbir Singh

Objectives : To study the socio-economic conditions of the farmers and assess their capabilities for acquiring and adopting the needed agricultural equipment/machinery and the uses of farm power, ultimate requirement, ways and means to fulfill the gaps for various farm operations. Further study the infra-structural facilities for the manufacturers, marketing, after sale service/ repair availability etc. of agricultural equipments and identify new/improved farm equipment that may be needed by the farmers during next 20 years, for carrying out different farm operations.

Duration:2001-2003 (Two years)

Summary : Study was conducted in two districts Kangra and Una of Himachal Pradesh. For each selected district, a random sample of 40 villages had been selected. Keeping in view the level and adoption of mechanization, out of each selected village, a sample of 10 households was selected. Total of 800 households had been surveyed including the status of agricultural implements manufacturers with their infrastructure facilities to meet the objectives of the study.  

Survey indicates that the 72 % farmers in Una and 87% farmer in Kangra district falls under marginal group. About 72% and 94% agriculture land in Kangra and Una districts found to be rainfed. The average annual use of animal power is 80% and 93% in Una and Kangra for mainly under land preparation (ploughing, puddling and planking), whereas annual use of tractor power was 20% and 7.4% in Una and Kangra district, respectively. The main source of farm power was bullocks, however in some villages of Una district, tractor power was also used for agricultural works. The study shows that the farmers are still utilizing the traditional farm tools and implements such as  indigenous plough, clod breaker, soil stirring plough, wooden planker, Kudali, khunti, plain- sickle  etc. 

    Only small manufacturers engaged in fabrication of small tools such as soil stirring plough, bar harrow, tubular maize sheller, shovel, digging hoe, khunti, hand rake, plough share, kassi were identified whereas some manufacturers in Una district fabricating tractor drawn equipments such as cultivator, leveler, disc harrow, bund former, thresher, trailer, cage wheel.


Title: Development of Small Tools for Mechanized Hill Farming

Contributors: Dr. D.K. Vatsa, Dr. S.P. Singh, Er. S.S. Mann and Er. Rajinder Kumar

Objectives:   To develop and evaluate suitable small tools and implements  light weight power tillers for hilly region. Demonstrate power source and improved machines/equipments at farmers' fields.

Duration: 2001-2003

Summary: A benchmark survey was conducted by all the three centres (Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir) of the project to identify the difficulties faced by the farmers in different farm operations. Most common tools such as spade, pick axe, sickle and darat for various operations were used in all the above mentioned states. Not only this, women folk were also involved in most of these operations. Keeping the above in mind, ten equipment have been developed out of which Palampur Centre has developed/modified V-shaped steel plough, haloder, animal drawn plough seeder and maize sheller with capacity of 0.02, 0.03-0.04, 0.03 ha/h and 15.0 kg/h respectively. This centre has also developed double bottom plough and cultivator for Shrachi power tiller with field capacity of 0.04 and 0.05 ha/h respectively. Srinagar Centre has developed and modified zero till seed drill, walnut and apple harvester, and walnut grader having capacity of 0.1 ha/h, 270 kg/h and 320 fruits/man-h, and 600-1300 kg/h respectively. The Pauri Garhwal Centre has developed lightweight power tiller operated nasoda plough with field capacity of 0.03 ha/h at a speed of 2 km/h. An anthropometrical survey was also carried out by measuring different parameters of human beings engaged in farming for enhancing the comfort and operational safety.

Three light-weight power tillers, two at Palampur Centre (Amar and Shrachi) and one at Pauri Garhwal Centre (Little Master) were tested for their feasibility of introduction in hills. Effective field capacity of 0.04 ha/h was recorded with Shrachi at working speed of 2 km/h. The main attraction of power tiller was better tilth as no clod formation was observed compared to bullock ploughing. The Shrachi power tiller was found better in comparison to Amar and Little Master. Vertical conveyor reaper was evaluated and demonstrated by Palampur and Srinagar Centres to seek its feasibility of using in hilly region and it was found that the field capacity of the reaper was 0.10-0.12 ha/h with an effective cutting width of 0.92-1.0 m. Different types of paddy threshers were also evaluated by the centres and it was observed that tractor-operated paddy thresher with a capacity of 800-1000 kg/h was found suitable by the farmers on custom hiring basis. The hand-operated and power tiller/ motor-operated paddy threshers had capacity of 50-70 kg/h and 200-250 kg/h respectively.  Farmers were quite impressed with the machine as it was economical and saved time and drudgery. In addition to the above, wheel hoe, manual seed drill, tubular maize sheller and serrated sickles were also found good for hilly region particularly for small and medium farmers. All the centres have selected three villages each and conducted about 120 on-farm trials, 30 demonstrations, 9 awareness camps and 3 farmersí fairs regarding the use of developed tools and equipment in respective states.


Title: Mechanization of Experimental Plots

Contributors: Dr. D.K. Vatsa

Objectives: To procure and test the equipment performance for mechanization of experimental plots & to study the impact of machinery.

Duration: October 2003 to December 2004

Summary: To  make the university farm sustainable, various equipments were evaluated to save the labour and cost of operation. The equipments such as Tractor Rotavator for tillage, Roto-till Drill, Multi-crop Planter, Potato Planter and Raised-bed Planter for sowing, Self propelled reaper, Paddy thresher, Forage Harvester were found suitable in terms of time, labour and cost saving.


Title: Development and Multiplication of Sowing Equipment Suitable for Hilly Region.

Contributors: Er. Sukhbir Singh and Dr. D.K. Vatsa

Objectives: Identification, development and multiplication of sowing equipment suited to hill agriculture

Duration: 2003-2005

Summary: From the various available sowing equipments, the promising equipments were selected and multiplied for mechanizing sowing operation in hill agriculture. The selected machines i.e. Manual seed drill, Manual Multi-crop planter, Garlic planter and Power tiller Multi-crop planter were multiplied and supplied to the interested farmers on 50% subsidy. The farmers like all the farm equipments for sowing. The demand for more such equipments has been pouring to the Department. 

Title: All India Coordinated Research Project on Farm Implements and Machinery.

Contributors: Dr. D.K. Vatsa and Er. Sukhbir Singh

Objectives: Study the present farm mechanization gaps and future needs for  design & development of farm tools, implements and machines for hilly regions suitable for animate & mechanical sources. Intensive evaluation of farm equipment in the field and trials on farmers' fields. Establish linkages with manufacturers by involving them in developmental process of farm machines and their production technology for manufacturing improved farm implements. To educate farmers on the significance of use and maintenance of improved farm equipments through various media including demonstration.

Salient Findings: To mechanize hill agriculture, the equipments such as Multi-crop planter, Zero-till drill and Terracer cum Leveler were developed and evaluated and found suitable for hill farming. The commercially available equipments such as Paddy transplanter, Manual seed-drill, Reaper, Wet land leveler, Tractor rotavator and Maize dehusker were also evaluated. These equipments were found quite promising as compared to traditional methods. In the project, different villages were selected for adoption of improved technology. The trainings were also organized to the farmers, educated unemployed youth, Entrepreneurs and Local artisans for promoting the modern and improved technology.


Title: Development, Evaluation and Promotion of Planting and Harvesting Equipment for Seabuckthorn.

Contributors: Dr. D. K. Vatsa and Er. Sukhbir Singh

Objectives: Design, Development, Evaluation and Promotion of a suitable mechanical planter and fruit harvester for Seabuckthorn.

Salient Findings: Harvesting of seabuckthorn berries is a tedious and cumbersome operation and it is mostly performed with manual system particularly in India. At present two most com on methods i.e. direct and indirect methods are used for harvesting fruit of seabuckthorn. Hence, two manual harvesters (comb and shaker type) were developed and fabrication of mechanical harvester is in progress. The comb, branch shaker & wire clip type manual harvester was evaluated at Leh in the wild grown seabuckthorn orchards and compared with traditional system of harvesting. The hook type branch shaker was found better as compared to others.



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Farm Machinery and Power ; Renewable Energy Sources; Post Harvest Engineering; Soil Water Engineering