The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, Government of India, has set up an agriculture engineering testing lab for the testing of agriculture machinery at the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) at Shalimar in Kashmir.
The purpose of this testing lab is to boost agricultural production by providing tested and quality machinery to farmers.
"The Ministry of Agriculture inaugurated the centre last year. Here we check whatever machinery and equipment in the state or are being used in the neighbouring states, to see if they comply with specifications. We certify the machines regarding these norms," said Prof. Nazir Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor of SKUAST.
For the last few years, the institute has been conducting activities for awareness generation amongst farmers and producers regarding the importance of new technologies and machinery.
"Earlier, whatever machines used to come, they used to be provided to the farmers and its durability used to be less. With this testing centre, we are testing the quality of machinery being provided to the farmers. We follow test codes of Bureau of Indian Standards for checking various parameters," said Dr Janmit Dixit, Principal investigator, Test Lab, SKUAST.
The machinery tested at the lab includes tractors, motors, water pumps and others.
Farmers are hopeful that the establishment of this lab is going to help them in the long run in improving the productivity of their farms.
"We don't know the quality of the machines that used to be supplied earlier. Now if the machines pass the test at this lab we can use them more effectively," said Showkat Ahmad, a farmer.
The Division of Agricultural Engineering was established in the year 1987 as one of the constituent divisions of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University. Authorities had inaugurated the lab last December and ever since more facilities have been added to the facility.
( With inputs from ANI )