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Status and Potentials of Agricultural Mechanization in Sunsari District, Nepal

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

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 32(6): 759-768. (doi: 10.13031/aea.32.10763) @2016
Authors:   Anup Pradhan, Hemantha P. W. Jayasuriya, Charles Mbohwa
Keywords:   Agricultural mechanization, GIS, Energy, Power, Sunsari district, Nepal.

Abstract.

Agriculture is the backbone of people‘s livelihood in Nepal. However, a majority of farmers are constrained to adopt subsistence agriculture and use traditional farm equipment due to varying topography, small and fragmented farm holdings, and lack of investment and infrastructure. This study aims to determine the status and potential of agricultural mechanization in Sunsari district of Nepal through the statistical analysis of data obtained from the field survey and personal interviews of local farmers. The agricultural mechanization in Sunsari district was found to be at a rudimentary stage without some of the typical equipment like power tillers, seeders, trans-planters, weeders, and crop harvesters. Major power sources in the district were found to be human labor, draft animals, and tractors; the latter was used only for land preparation and transportation. Tractors seemed to reduce the labor utilization, especially labor use for land preparation but they did not show much influence on crop yield and cropping intensity. The family income was much higher in tractor-owned farms than bullock farms due to the higher income from off-farm activities. The potential levels of mechanization in the study area were categorized using geographic information system (GIS) mapping and it was observed that about 96.8% of the total cultivated area can be covered using tractor, and 1.5% can at least be served with power tillers. In the remaining 1.7% area, neither tractor nor power tiller can operate efficiently.

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