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Energy demand forecast for mechanized agriculture in rural India

Authors
Journal
Energy Policy
0301-4215
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
36
Issue
7
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2008.03.030
Keywords
  • Energy
  • Mechanization
  • Availability Index
Disciplines
  • Agricultural Science
  • Design
  • Economics

Abstract

Abstract Though India has done well in agricultural development, the state of Assam in the northeastern region needs special attention for agricultural development to address several socio-economic issues and is a typical example of economically backward rural India. 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 a 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 that 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 workers to its critical demand, indicated insufficiency of required human workers in almost 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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