In India vegetables are cultivated in 84.95 lakh hectare, fruits in 63.83 lakh hectare, plantation crops in 33.06 lakh hectares, spices in 29.40 lakh hectare and aromatic crops in 5.10 lakh hectare of land. The cultivation of vegetable crops is labour intensive and it needs timely operations for maximizing the production. The availability of the labours is reducing in the villages. The end to end mechanization of the horticultural crops is required urgently.
Vegetables and seed spices are short duration crops and need maximum labour. These are to be cultivated on ridges or raised beds for ease mechanization. The crops cultivated in paired rows on raised beds can be irrigated efficiently by drip irrigation system. For fruit crops high density planting and pruning are becoming popular for increase of production. It is possible to mechanize the high density fruit crops.
Machineries are required for end to end mechanization i.e seed bed preparation, pit digging, nursery raising and transplanting, seed sowing, weeding, interculture, spraying and harvesting. Indian Institute of Horticultural Research has taken initiative in this direction. The following machineries have been developed to address the problems of the farmers.
- Nursery raising
- Seed sowing
- Seedling transplanting
- Harvesting of fruit crops
- Pickle making
- Mushroom spawn production