EMERGING TECHNOLOGICAL INSIGHTS, HOTSPOTS CHALLENGES AND FUTURE DRIVING PATHWAYS FOR WHOLE PROCESS MAIZE MECHANIZATION IN NEPAL
Shailendra Khatri, Shreemat Shrestha
Globally, mechanization has been recognized as a key means to increase the agricultural production and modernize the agriculture. Although the use of improved varieties has increased substantively since a decade, the use of land and labor saving technologies specifically mechanization and adoption of improved management practice, has lagged behind in Nepal. Thus, this study explores the current maize production status, past and present developmental effort on mechanization, and provides outlook on the currently available tools, equipment and machines for whole process maize mechanization (an array of available technologies from land preparation to post-harvest operation). Finally, we pointed out the mechanization hindering factors and gaps, and suggested the future driving paths along with potential emerging technologies that can have impact on future maize mechanization of Nepal. Though, there has been increase in the use of machines in Nepalese agriculture mostly in tillage and shelling for maize, yet use of machines is very limited in rest of the operations (for example, harvesting). To succeed the mechanization roadmaps, it is necessary to unify research and development efforts on need based technologies referring agro-ecological, socioeconomic and technical conditions; strengthen extension and credit services for adaptation and investment; formulate or implement quality inspection policy/program effectively; provide constant technical backstopping for institutional and community capacity building; upsurge awareness; establish provincial level mechanization centre and local level mechanization unit immediately; create community or contract farming schemes; promote custom hiring in business model considering the local level need; provide training, education and subsidies to the deserving farmers irrespective of their political attachment; assure timely availability of genuine spare parts and maintenance services; and form public-private partnerships for sustainable agricultural mechanization.
Agricultural Mechanization, Driving Pathways, Maize, Whole Process, Nepal