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Bovine Stock in Maharashtra: Changing Structure of Draught Power

Mechanization of irrigation has taken place at much faster rate than mechanization of tillage in the state of Maharashtra. Thus, the combined effect of mechanization on displacement of work animals is very low. While the adult male bovine population
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  Feature Bovine Stock in Maharashtra: Changing Structure of Draught Power Deepak Shah Mechanisation of irrigation has taken place at much faster rate than mechanisation of tillage in the state of Maharashtra. Thus, the combined effect of mechanisa- tion on displacement of work animals is very low. While the adult male bovine population in this state remained stab/e over the period of three decades, the adult females bovine population has shown a significant growth. The slowing down in the growth of workanimals has facilitated the expansion of milch animals. The cattle population was obserued to be in the process of erosion and being replaced by buffaloes inthe state. Deepak Shah ls Faculty Member, Gokhale Institute of Politics andEconomics, Pune-4l 1 004. For ages, man has been husbanding livestock withthe aim of improving their quality and making them moreuseful. Cattle not only provides valuable animal protein but are also the source of powersupplyforthe cultivation of crops. The contribution of power supply by livestock has been recognised gven in some of the industriallydeveloped countries. In most of the developing countries, the bulk of the agricultural operations is done by the use of animal power. In India, draught animals constituteroughly about 30 per cent of the total bovine populationand are considered the mainstay of draught power (Nair  Dhas, 1987). Though recently mechanisation of agricul-ture has attracted the attention of many farmers, because of the time and labour saving devices and the quicker and more efficient output of work, yet due to a number oflimitations such as small size of farms, Indian agriculturewill have to depend mainly upon bullock power for a longperiod to come. However, it has also been noticed that in certain parts of the countrythe level of mechanisation has reached such a stage where it has gradually started displacing work animals. A section of researchers has also put fonrvard the argument that the growth in mechanisation has met the additional draught power re- quirement of the green revolution in agriculture by sup-plementing the workanimal population (Mishra Sharma,1990; Nair Dhas, 1990). As a matter of fact, the issue of demand of draught animaG-*i5ing but of technological and institutional changes in agriculture coupled with their supply has received very scanty attention in the past. However, the works of Sharma (1981, 1989), Binswanger (1978) and Vaidyanathan (1982) provide good insight into this im-portant aspect of the livestock economy and its linkages with agriculture. Technological changes in agriculture associated with the green revolution have brought about significant changes in the size and composition of animal draught power in several areas of the country. The state of Maharashtra is not an exception to this phenomenon. Productivity o Vol. 37, No. 4, January-March, 1997  During the last three decades, the bovine economy of tFE sta'tC witnessed a number of changes in terms of its size, composition and productivity. The size of bovine herd increased from about 17 million in the mid-fifties to21.7 million in the late eighties. While the sex composi- tion of bovine has shifted in favour of females, its breed composition has shifted considerably in favour ofcrossbreeds. Contrary to many studies which showed a decline in work animal population in some of theregions of the country, the draught animal population ofMaharashtra has shown a slight increase over time. The issue of economic viability alongwith socio-economicacceptability of species and breeds will become more pertinent under the changed situation in the state. Therefore, an insight into the changes in size, composi- tive and availability of draught animal power in relation to mechanical power will be helpful in understanding the e).tent of mechanisation of agriculture in the state Maharashtra. And assessment of factors that have facilitated the process of diffusion and adoption of ad- vanced technology will provide useful insights into the future prospects for the development of livestock sector in the state. Technological changes in agriculture associated with the green revolution have brought about significant changes in the size and composition of animal draught power. Draught Animals Mechanical Power The effect of agricultural mechanisation has been seen in the successive reduction of the growing require- ment of bullock power and an increase in the produc- tion of livestock products (Bergmann, 1978; Myrdal,1968; Venkatappiah, 1972). As a matter of fact, a reduc- tion in the demand for work animals has two major consequences: a proportionate release of animal feed; and a change in the composition of livestock population in favour of milch stock and of females in all age groups.Either of the consequences or both may in turn, lead to an increase in milk and meat production. Draught animals are used mainly for land preparations, sowing, manuring, threshing and irrigation. However, these operations can also be performed by mechanicalmeans. Draught animals can be displaced by tractors in land preparations, sowing, manuring and threshing and electrical pumpsets and oil engines can displaceanimals in irrigation. In consequence, the requirement of draught power may increase for other operations. Be- cause of such differential impact of mechanisation of all agricultural activity on draught animal stock, it is neces- sary to examine the impact of these twomechanical equipment on the draught animal the state of Maharashtra. D raught ani mal population Slow growth in the stock of draught animals rc observed in the state of Maharashtral. During the paii between 1956 and 1987, the draught animal populalb increased only by 0.43 per cent per annum. Even Ui growth came through rise in draught cattle populatir since the stock of draught buffaloes remained consEl over the last three decades in this state (table 1). Puc showed declining trend in the total stock of dnugl animals due to fall in its draught cattle population. Tb growth in draught animal population was higher dutiqg the period 1956-1972 compared to the period 1972-1987. The decline in draught animal population in Pup region and its slow growth in other regions of the stats migfrt Oe due to inieraction of a number of factoni. some of which are decline in the average size of a} tivated holdings, shift in cropping pattern and increasg in the cost of rearing work animals. As human poptt+ tion pressure on land increases, the size of land hdd ing tends to decline. Because of the indivisibility of wofi animals, the density of work animal population per url of cultivated area tends to increase. However, beyond a point when the average size of cultivated holding fals below the critical minimum needed to maintain a pair d work animals, there will be a tendency to do away wilr the work animals and to cling to milch animds 1. There are six major economic regions in Maharashtra. The dis. tricts in each region are Konkan Region: Greater Bombay, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, Nashik Region: Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon and Ahmednagar, Pune Region: Pune, Satara, Sangli, Solapur and Kolhapur, Aurangabad Region: Aurangabad, Jalna, Parbhani, Beed, Nanded, Latur and Os- manabad, Amravati Region: Buldana, Akola, Amravati and Yavatmal, Nagpur Region: Wardha, Nagpur, Bhandara, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli. Nair (1981), Dolberg (1982) and Jabbar and Green (1983) dis- cussed the role played by size of land holding on draughl animal population. While Grewal and Kahlon (1973) and Rao (1975) argued that mechanisation has led to a decline in the utilisation of draught power, Sharma (1981) and Vaidyanathan(1982) argued that the increase in the mechanical power has not resulted in any reduction in the draught animal population.z 686 Bovine Stock Reduction in the demand for work animals has two major consequences: a proportionate release of animal feed;and a change in the composition of live- stock population in favour of milch stock.  Table 1: Draught Animal Population in MaharashtraRegionKonkanYear 1 956197219871956 1972 19871956 1972 19871956 1972 19871956 1972 1987 1956 1972 19871956 1972 1987Draught animal population (106) CGRo.62o.74 0.6s o.270.13 -o.64 0.43o.520.070.67 1.O2 0.51 nnE 0.36NSA (t06 Hectares)0.860.770.793.653.3s3.593.842.833.684.794.084.782.793.00 3.O7 1.78 2.O2 1.97 17.71 16.0517.88DDA0.90 1.101.20 0.300.360.35o.250.3so.24o.270.33 0.31 0.300.29 0.31 0.540.560.620.330.400.38CattleButfalo 0.110.11 0.14o.o20.020.030.060,060.05 1.101.?21.27 0.960.980.89 1.271,361.47 0.850.860.950.96 6.406.75avati0.66o.74 0.811.081.201.24 0.09 0€2 0.84 1.261.351.46 0.84 o.8s 0.940.09 1.051.14 5.64 6.11 6.43 Nagpur MaharashtraSource. Statistical Abstracts of Maharashtra State (various years) Note: CGR = Compound Growth Rate; NSA = Net Sown Area; DDA = Density of Draught Animal Net sown area figures used are three-year average centered around the respective years in the table. t11 2- (,7fb 28 7.01 (Vaidyanathan et al, 1982). The density of work animals 1987. The bulk of the increase was contributed byper hectare of net sown area was observed to be almost electric pumpsets. A major increase in electricconstant over a period of three decades, with only some pumpsets was noticed during the period 1972- 1987. Onmoderate fluctuations. This was because of the fact that the other hand, after registering an annual increment of while total net sown area showed falling trend in most of nearly 12 per cent between 1956 and 1972, oil engines the regions, the stock of draught animals increased over showed an annual decline of about one per cent be- time. Gonsequently, the density of work animals per tween 1972 and 1987. This was mainly because of con-hectare of net sown area remained by and large con- siderable fall in the number of oil engines in Nashik andstant during this period. Aurangabad regions of the state. Interestingly, while the number of oil engines declined drastically (a fall ofMechanisatibn of irrigation about 45 per cent) in Nashik and Aurangabad regions during the period 1972-1987, a substantial rise, on theThe growth of mechanisation of irrigation has con- other hand, was also noticed in electric pumpsets in tributed significantly to the increase in the availability of these regions of the state. The decline in oil engines draught power in agriculture. A rapid increase in the was, therefore, more than compensated by the consid- number of electric pumpsets and oil engines was seen erable increase in electric pumpsets. Consequently, theduring the last three decades (table 2). The number of overall growth in mechanised sources of irrigation did electric pumpsets and oil engines, which stood at onli not get affected. Further, as the net sown area remained 0.3 lakh during 1956, increased to some 7,5 lakhs by moreorlessconstantoverthelastthreedecadesinthe Productivity o VoL 37, No. 4, January-March, 1997  Table 2: Number of Electric Pumpsets and Oil Engines in Maharashtra Electric Pumpsets and Oil Engines (t04) Number cGR Number cGR Number cGR per 100 hec of NSA Konkan 1 9561972 1987 1 9561972 1 987 1 9561972 1 987 1 956 1972 19871956 1972 1 987 1956 1972 19870.01 0.380.50o.o26.04 17.12 o.o23.95 12.980.01 2.90 16.24 0.062.328.840.10 1.39 4.87o.22 16.98 60.5525.53 1.8542.89 710 39.1 5 6,ZC 42.5312.57 25.669,33 17.88 8.72 31.21 AqE0.09o.20 1.18 0.906.043.56 1.11 6.045.840.27 3.81 100 0.19o.79 1.64 0.50 1.09 2.67 17.3814.30 5.12 -o.70 12.64 -3.46 11.17-0.2217.99 -4.24 9.31 4.99 0.11 9.93 12.42 -1.29 0.100.580.680.92 12.08 20.68 1.13 9.99 18.82 0.28o.I I 18.23 0.25 3.1 1 10.481.89 5.962.8934.3674.85 11.61 1.07 17.O4 3.65 14.594.31 21.966.89 17.06 8.44 0.2114.72 7.96 16.73 5.330.12o.750.860.25 3.61 5.76o.293.53 5.11 0.06 1.643.81 0.09 1.O4 3.41 o.120.943. Maharashtra 1956 1972 1 987  xt2- state, a rapid increase in electric pumpsets and oil en- gines has resulted in a considerable rise in the density of these mechanised sources of irrigation per 100 hec-tares of net sown area. In Maharashtra, out of the total net irrigated area, 56 per cent was well irrigated in 7972-73 which marginally rose to 58 per cent in 1982-83r. The rising importance ofwell irrigation in the state implies that the requirement ofvarious sources of draught power for lifting water has been increasing. However, the rise in the intensity ofmechanisation of irrigation did not appear to have af- fected the draught animal population in the state. This is evident from the classification of districts according to the 3. Out of the total net inigated area of 1.28 million hectares in Maharashtra, the well irrigated area was 0.71 million hectares in 1972-73. By 1982-83, the total net irrigated area increased to 1 .95 million hectares and well inigated area to 1 .12 million hec- tares. Surface irrigation was followed in the remaining area. growth of mechanised irrigation and reduction in thedraught stock during 19721o 1 987. In districts like Ahmed- nagar, Pune, Satara, Sholapur and Parbhanithe increasein electric pumpsets and oil engines was more than 100 per cent, but in these districts the decline in the draught animal stock was less than 20 per cent. In majority of thedistricts, the draught animals stock also increased withthe increase in the stock of mechanised equipment in the above period. Thiswas observed especially in districts likeBuldana, Akola, Amravati, Yavatmal and Bhandara where the increase in electric pumpsets and oil engines was more than 200 per cent, but the increase in draught animal stock varied from 1 to 20 per cent. Interestingly, theincrease in mechanised equipment was more than 400 per cent in Beed during the period 1972to 1987, but the total stock of draught animal remained constant duringthis period. Thus the installation of more electric pumpsets and oil engines has not had any significant influence on the688 Bovine Stock  The rising impodance of well irrigation in the state implies that the requirement of various sources of draught power forlitting water has been increasing. How- ever, the rise in the intensitY ofmechanisation of irrigation did nol ap- pear to have affected the draughtanimals poPulation in the state.changes in the a- tion [attern of of mechanised ir a reduction in th ht contribute to the d irrigation, this must by the increase in t the increase in the that if mechanisation of irrigation is followed bymechanisation of land preparation and other cultivation operations like harvesting and threshing, it would resultin a reduction in the work animal stock. ln this contelc, it is useful to examine the trend in availability ofmechanical and draught animal power and the extent of tractorisation in the state. Given the utilisation pattern of bullock, an increase in the intensitY of mechanised irrigation would not have resulted in a reduction in the draught animal stock. Though it might con- tribute to the displacement of bullock labour from irrigation, this must havebeen more than compensated by the in- crease in the cropping intensity conse- quent to the increase in the intensity ofmechanisation. these regions together to total farm power was 58 per cent in mid fifties which sharply increased to nearly 67 per cent in early seventies and by late eighties the share of these regions was estimated to be about 70 per centin the total draught power availability of the state. The composition of farm power has also unOergoneJ a marked change. While the share of power from i F arm power avai I abil itY horse power (HP) units in the mid fifties and this in- creased to 4.4 million HP in the early seventies By the late eighties, it is estimated to have increased to 7 3 million units. Bulk of the increase in total farm power availability over time was contributed by regions like Nashik, Pune and Aurangabad. The contribution of tent of farm mechanisation in these two regions was found to be very low compared to the other regions of the state. A cursory look at table 3 further revealed that the share of irrigation equipment in total farm power availability increased from 6 per cent to 51 per cent and that of tractors lrom 2 per cent to 12 per cent between 1956 and 1987. Around 80 per cent of the mechanised power in Maharashtra s agriculture was estimated to be derived from oil engines and electric pumpsets as been increasing at a iaster rat Consequently, the con- sumption per hectare of cultivated land has Tractorisation Productivity o Vol. 37, No. 4, January-Atlarch, 1997 689
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