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Forecasting Energy Demand for Mechanized Agriculture in Rural India

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  078037.(doi:10.13031/2013.23542)
Authors:   Debendra C Baruah, Ganesh C Bora
Keywords:   Energy forecast, rice, mechanization, availability index, rural India

The state of Assam in north-eastern region is a typical example of rural India and it needs special attention for agricultural development to address several socio-economic issues. Agricultural development aiming at higher production would require mechanization and supply of sufficient energy is a prerequisite for mechanized agriculture. Rice is the major crop of Assam and the mechanization is at nascent stage. The energy demand and supply scenarios with reference to some prospective mechanization strategies for rice crop are investigated in this study. Four strategic scenarios of mechanization including a baseline scenario incorporating some proven technologies are designed to assess the energy demands. The result of the analysis indicated the demand for diesel would increase by more than 200% with an associated decrease in manpower by more than 80% and also 100% reduction of bullock power. The "availability index" which is the ratio of available human worker to its critical demand, indicated insufficiency of required human worker almost in all agro-climatic zones of Assam justifying the need for mechanization. Economic analysis considering the prevailing rate of input commodities also favors agricultural mechanization in Assam.

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