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Role of Agriculture Department (Field) Government of Punjab in Serving Farming Community




  • Introduction
    The historical background of farm mechanization in Pakistan has been tracked back to the report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture (1928) in which the commission had recognized the need for replacing the bullocks with tractor but stressed upon the need for proper research on different aspects of mechanization. As a result of recommendations by the commission, the Engineering Workshop of the Agriculture Department at Faisalabad, established in 1914 was strengthened to undertake research and development work on agricultural implements. Famine Inquiry Commission (1945) emphasized the need for reducing the pressure of animals on land by using tractors for cultivation.

    The Pakistan Agricultural Inquiry Committee (1951) recognized the desirability of using machinery for rapid development of new lands and for cultivation of reverine tracts. The Food and Agricultural Commission of (1960) also considered the scope of introducing mechanization Revelle report (1964) commented on farm machinery and implements and suggested that major attention should be paid to the problem of designing agricultural equipment and proper systems suitable for small holdings. It also suggested the development of small horse power tractors. The five-year development plans have successively provided funds of the expansion of land development work with heavy machinery and for setting up of a network of agricultural workshops in the province (Report of the Farm Mechanization Committee, 1970).

    The Agriculture Machinery Organization (AMO) was thus established in the Agriculture Department, Government of West Pakistan in Continuation of its activities already in progress under the “Power Farming”, Agriculture Research Station Faisalabad with the mandate of developing lands and augmenting water supplies with the help of machinery. Bulldozers and power drilling rigs were added to the system to supplement activities being under taken by the Thal Development Authority which later on merged into the Agricultural Engineering in 1970.

     

    Organogram:

    Legend 

    DAE

    DIRECTOR OF AGRIL. ENGINEERING

    W/S

    WORKSHOP

    DSC

    DIRECTOR OF SOIL CONSERVATION

    SPCT

    SPECIALIST

    AMRI

    AGRIC. MECH. RESEARCH INSTITUTE

    D&D

    DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT

    AE

    AGRICULTURAL ENGINEER

    T&T

    TEST & TRIAL

    AAE

    ASSISTANT AGRICULTURAL ENGINEER

    FAB

    FABRICATION

    SO

    STORE OFFICER

    HDR

    HYDRA DRILL RESEARCH

    SV

    STORE VERIFIER

    SC

    SOIL CONSERVATION

    TO

    TECHNICAL OFFICER

    DO/AD

    DISTRICT OFFICER / ASSISTANT DIRECTOR (DEVOLVED)

    FO

    FIELD / BULLDOZER OPERATION

    SCO

    SOIL CONSERVATION OFFICER (DEVOLVED)

     

    Objectives of Agriculture Department (Field)

    • Development & reclamation of culturable waste land
    • Development of hilly areas, through terracing   
    • Execution of emergency works such as defense, desilting, flood control and land slides 
    • Development / improvement of water storage ponds, mini dams and fish ponds
    • Development of ground water resources through operation of well drilling machinery and equipment
    • Soil conservation through construction of outlets, retaining walls and spurs
    • Water conservation through construction of mini dams, storage ponds and surface water conservation structures
    • Research, development and promotion of agriculture machinery

    Functions of Agriculture Department (Field)

    ·        Land Resources Development

    • Water Resources Development
    • Soil & Water Conservation
    • Research and Development of Agricultural Machinery
    • Promotion of Farm Mechanization
    • Commercial Production of Farm Machinery and Machine Parts

    Activities and Services of Agriculture Department (Field)

    1. Land Resources Development Services

    A culturable waste land of approximately 3.924 million acres is available for development in Punjab which is 12.80% of cultivated area. For the purpose of horizontal expansion of land resources, a fleet of 345 bulldozers are available with field wing for the following land development activities;

    • Development of culturable waste land.
    • Improvement of existing cultivated land.
    • Reclamation of eroded and gullied lands.
    • Construction of mini dams, water storage ponds and fish ponds etc.

    These bulldozers are provided to the farmers on subsidized rates. In addition to this, the bulldozers are also deployed for desilting of canals, defense works, plugging of canal breaches and rehabilitation of flood affected areas.

    Service Acquirement / Procedure

    The Agricultural Engineer placed at Divisional level controls the land development operations in their respective Divisions/Area. He is supported by one Assistant Agricultural Engineer (Field) who is responsible for hiring of bulldozer services in respective Districts. Unit Supervisor is also placed at Tehsil / Unit Level.

    For acquiring services, the farmer / beneficiary must contact concerned District / Unit Office and complete the formalities. For hiring of bulldozers, the farmers submit an application on prescribed Performa to the Assistant Agricultural Engineer or Unit Supervisor who is fully authorized for booking of bulldozer through cash deposit and operation of machinery. A challan Form is prepared by the Officer/Unit Supervisor indicating the charges to be deposited by the applicant and hours of bulldozers booked for the purpose. After depositing money in the Government Treasury/Bank the farmer is eligible to get the bulldozer on his turn. The rates of bulldozers are as under;

     

     

     

    Nature of Work

    Rate

    Agriculture Work

    Rs. 560/- per hour

    Non-Agriculture Work

    Rs. 1600/- per hour

    Transportation Charges @ Rs. 29 per km are in addition to approved hire rates.

    2. Water Resources Development Services

    Timely and adequate availability of water is extremely important and pre-requisite to increase agricultural production. The horizontal expansion in cultivated area and increased cropping intensity has resulted in a net irrigation water deficit of about 50%. In order to meet the growing irrigation water demand, the surface water supplies is supplemented through exploitation of groundwater. For exploitation of ground water resources, Field Wing of Agriculture Department is maintaining well drilling machinery and equipment consisting of 181 Nos. Hand Boring Plants, 20 Nos. PowerDrilling Rigs, 10 Nos.Electric Resistivity Meters and 02 Nos.Geo-loggers etc. The services of well Drilling machinery and equipment are provided to the farmers for agricultural purpose on subsidized rates.

     Service Acquirement / Procedure

     The Agricultural Engineer (Well Drilling) placed with Directors of Agricultural Engineering at Multan, Faisalabad & Lahore, controls the activity in the province. For drilling operation, the Assistant Agricultural Engineers (Well Drilling) are working at district level and Drilling Supervisors at Unit level.

    For acquiring services, the farmer/beneficiary must contact concerned office personally and complete the formalities. The farmer submits an application on prescribed Performa to the Assistant Agricultural Engineer or Drilling Supervisor who is fully authorized for booking through cash deposits in government treasury and provision of the service. After making payment for the footage to be drilled with machinery, farmers are eligible to get drilling machinery. The hire rates of drilling machinery are as under;

     

     

    Power Drilling Rigs

     

    Bore Size (Inches)

    Full Rate * (Rs. per ft.)

    8-10

    149

    12-15

    217

    16-18

    257

    19-20

    424

    21-24

    496

    * 30% extra is charged for non-agriculture and commercial works

     

    Hand Boring Plants

     

    Bore Size (Inches)

    Full Rate * 

    (Rs. per ft.)

    Subsidized Rate

    (Rs per ft.)

    7

    17

    5

    8

    18

    8

    10

    22

    11

    12

    39

    21

    14

    46

    24

    16

    53

    27

    18

    56

    30

    * 30% extra is charged for non-agriculture and commercial works

     

    Well Drilling Equipment

     

    Resistivity meter

    Rs. 3150/- per survey for agriculture purpose

    Geol logger

    Rs. 2000/- per survey for agriculture purpose

    Air compressor

    Diesel Rs. 50/- per hour for agriculture purpose

    Power winch

    Diesel Rs. 10/- per ft. for agriculture purpose

    * 30% extra is charged for non-agriculture and commercial works

    3. Soil and Water Conservation Services

    A dry, barren, often sand covered area of land is waterless and without vegetation cover. The common features of such land are; low precipitation, high temperature, high evaporation, low humidity, poor rain water efficiency, water percolation and low productivity. These lands are called Barani and arid lands but still are not considered wastelands as these can be used for cultivation and crop production through soil and water conservation activities.   

    Soil and water conservation services are provided by the Field Wing in the Barani and hill torrent areas of the Punjab. Some of the works being undertaken for soil and water conservation purpose are; construction of mini dams, water storage ponds, water outlet structures, retaining walls, spurs, land reclamation through gully plugging, stream bank training and moisture conservation practices such as terrace forming and deep ploughing. Soil and water conservation services to the farmers for agricultural purpose are provided through District Officers Soil Conservation on subsidized rates.

     

    Service Acquirement / Procedure

    The Directorate of Soil Conservation, Rawalpindi through Assistant Director Soil Conservation, placed at Project/Tehsil Level carries out the functions and offers services to the farmers. The farmers submits an application and the Assistant Director Soil Conservation, along with his staff visits the site, prepares estimates, and lay out of work to contain the erosion. The farmer himself carries out the construction works while Department provides the assistance in form of subsidy as prescribed for different works.

    4. Research& Development Services

    Agricultural Mechanization Research Institute, Multan under control of Director General Agriculture (Field) Punjab, Lahore is undertaking R&D for low cost and appropriate agricultural machinery and farm mechanization technologies. The institute is providing industrial extension service to the local agricultural machinery manufactures for production of standardized and quality machinery and implements. It also imparts technical guidance to the farmers for proper selection, operation and maintenance of agricultural machinery and equipment. The institute provides technical assistance to provincial and districts agriculture wings for selection and procurement of agricultural machinery & equipment.

    There are no hard and fast rules which are required to be followed for obtaining information and services from AMRI. Anyhow, in order to benefit from the services provided by AMRI, one must contact through personal visit, mail, fax or telephone to obtain the desired information free of cost.

    Repair and Maintenance Services

     

    The Field Wing is maintaining 24 workshops for repair and maintenance of bulldozers, well drilling machinery and equipment and transport vehicles. Beside R&M of departmental machinery and equipment, workshop services are also available for the farmers for repair and maintenance of their farm machinery and equipment. The services to the farmers are provided on actual cost basis against advance deposit of estimated charges.

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