SWATHY A. H.* AND USHA C. THOMAS
AICRP on Forage Crops & Utilization,
College of Agriculture, Vellayani-695 522, Kerala, India
*(e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Received : 7 February 2020; Accepted 30 June 2020)
Livestock sector plays an important role in the Indian economy and is a source of subsidiary income for many resource poor families. Livestock rearing of society at rural or urban landscape ensures healthy and nutritious diets and at national and regional levels, it supplies affordable, nutritious and safe animal sourced food to the people. Most of the fodder requirement is met by feeding crop residues and grazing land. Major fodder crops grown in India are sorghum, cowpea, napier-bajra hybrid, pearl millet, maize, oats, berseem, lucerne and rye grass, etc. India’s fodder crop and livestock sectors are interrelated to each other. For economical and sustainable cattle farming, fodder production round the year is highly essential. Feeding of green fodder to dairy animals play an important role in sustainability of dairy farming. However, in present situation the supply of feed to livestock is not able to meet the demand, and it is urgent to increase the availability of feed resources. In Indian conditions, major farming community falls under small (1-3 ha field size) land holding. A small farmer, usually possessing 2-10 numbers of animals allocates small portion (up to 10 per cent) of his cultivated land to fodder cultivation. Accordingly machinery and their size are required in Indian condition to fulfill their needs. Optimum production and utilization of forage crops is labour-intensive, which ultimately increases the cost of cultivation. This demands appropriate mechanization in fodder production and utilization. Machines in cultivation and utilization of fodder includes sowing machines, weeding machines, harvesting machines, chaff cutting machines and post harvest processing machines. Farm mechanization in India is about 40-45 percent which is very low when compared to countries like US, Brazil and China according to International Exhibition and Conference on Agri-Machinery and Equipment, 2015. Mechanization encourages the improvement of efficiency of large scale production and ultimately leads to urbanization and commercialization in agricultural sector.
Key words:Mechanization, seed separator, fodder harvester, bailer, thresher with urea treatment, feed block making machine, feed pelleting machine, hydroponics