Farm mechanization is another area which can make a significant impact on production and cost reduction in rainfed agriculture. With declining animal energy, there is an enormous scope for introduction of planting and post harvest machinery. Timely planting and weeding which are most crucial in drylands to capitalize on the limited moisture availability can only be ensured with good planting equipment. Here again, innovative institutional mechanisms like custom hiring enabling small farmers to have access to large farm implements for crop management, harvest and pest control have to be widely adopted to have a significant impact at the regional and national level.
Livestock and Pasture
In addition to large tracts of arid and semi arid areas which are chronically drought prone where cropping is a gamble despite all efforts, the country has vast stretches of wasted lands which can be put under silvipasture and energy farming. During drought years, it is only the livestock farming which provides succor to the farmers in dry areas and any major effort towards enhanced fodder production will certainly contribute to better livestock production and additional income at the farm level. A deliberate shift in priorities through appropriate incentives and subsidies is required at the national level in favour of silvi pasture and horti-pasture for such lands and agroclimatic sub regions, which can also help improve soil health, instead of continuing under unviable arable cropping.