The adoption of modern machines and farm equipment by the farmers depends on various factors such as socio-economic conditions, geographical conditions, crop grown, irrigation facilities among other local factors. However, the Government of India supports and facilitates the state governments through various Centrally sponsored and Central sector schemes to promote agriculture throughout the country and infusing modern technologies into the agriculture sector. For the promotion of agricultural mechanisation in the country, a Centrally sponsored scheme Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) is being implemented through the State governments w.e.f. 2014-15, with the major objectives of increasing the reach of farm mechanisation to small and marginal farmers and to the regions where availability of farm power is low and promoting ‘custom hiring centres’ to offset the adverse economies of scale arising due to small landholding and high cost of individual ownership, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on Friday.
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In order to make machines and farm equipment affordable to the farmers, financial assistance @ 40 per cent to 50 per cent of the cost depending on the categories of farmers, is provided under SMAM for the purchase of agricultural machines. Financial assistance @ 40 per cent of the project cost is also provided to rural youth and farmers such as an entrepreneur, cooperative societies of farmers, registered farmers societies, farmer producer organisations (FPOs) and panchayats for the establishment of custom hiring centres and hi-tech hubs of high-value agricultural machines. Financial assistance @ 80 per cent of the project cost for the projects costing up to Rs. 10 lakhs is provided to the cooperative societies, registered farmer societies, FPOs and panchayats for setting up of village-level farm machinery banks (FMBs). The rate of financial assistance for the northeastern states for the establishment of FMBs is @95% of the project cost for the projects costing up to Rs. 10 lakhs, the minister further informed the upper house of the Indian parliament.