Farm and Agri Engineering – Importance | Free ARD Notes for NABARD

The upcoming NABARD exam for Grade A Officer (Assistant Manager) has a section on Agriculture and Rural Development, which focuses on rural Indian agriculture. It is imperative that candidates have an in-depth knowledge of the various practices and technologies used in agriculture. Furthermore, they should have a fair idea of the impact of engineering on agriculture. To make sure that you do not miss out on any important information, we are providing you with notes on Farm and Agri Engineering, which will help you score good marks.

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Farm and Agri Engineering

Impact of Engineering on Agriculture

Formerly, agriculture in India depended on primitive methods of cultivation and irrigation. However, with modern agricultural engineering, processing and production of crops have become easier.

Agricultural Engineering involves the disciplines of civil, mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineering principles with adequate knowledge of agricultural principles based on technological principles.

Agricultural engineering has yielded positive results in terms of improved efficacy and sustainability of agricultural practices.

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Modern Engineering Techniques – Energy, Power etc.

The modern farm and agri engineering techniques used include the following –

» Mechanical Power

Broadly speaking, mechanical power includes tractors, stationary oil engines, and power tillers. The internal combustion engine can convert liquid fuel into mechanical work. These engines can be classified into –

  1. Spark Ignition Engines (kerosene or petrol)
  2. Compression Ignition Engines (diesel engines)

In today’s age, most of the power tillers and tractors run on diesel engines. Further, these engines are used for operating oil ghanis, flourmills, irrigation pumps, sugarcane crusher, winnowers, threshers, and chaff cutter.

Merits –

  • Highly efficient
  • Cost-effective
  • Unaffected by adverse weather conditions

» Electrical Power

Electrical power is usually used on farms in the form of electrical motors. Indian farmers rely heavily on motors due to their ability to function smoothly. Its maintenance requires little attention and the operating costs remain constant more or less throughout life. This type of power is used mostly for dairy and fruit industry, water pumping, cold storage, and processing of farm products.

Merits –

  • A cheap form of power
  • Low maintenance and operating cost
  • Can work continuously
  • High efficiency

» Renewable Energy

This refers to a renewable source of energy like wind, sun, and biomass. Wind energy, solar energy, and biogas energy along with suitable devices are used in domestic and agricultural purposes. This type of energy can be used for cooking, heating water, lighting, water distillation, water pumping, electric generation, and food processing. Renewable energy is inexhaustible in nature.

  1. Wind Energy – Electricity generation, water pumping
  2. Solar Energy – Solar lighting, solar refrigeration, solar dryers, cooker, lantern, solar still
  3. Tidal Energy – Electricity generation
  4. Biomass Energy – Pyrolysis, gasifiers, biogas
  5. Geothermal Energy – Electricity and heat production

Merits –

  • No danger of depletion
  • Inexhaustible, reproducible in nature
  • Power plants running on renewable energy have no fuel cost and hence, have a negligible operating cost
  • More site-specific (used for local processing)
  • No need for distribution and transmission of power
  • Low energy density
  • Do not pose a threat to ecology or environment
  • Most of the power plants and devices made out of renewable energy and prepared by local, skilled labour are simple in construction and design. Thus, it helps generate local employment and save foreign exchange
  • The remote villages in rural India can be served better with renewable sources of energy available locally. This will boost savings from transmitting electricity from far off distance or transporting fuels.

» Biomass

Biomass contains energy stored from the sun. Plants absorb solar energy through photosynthesis. When you burn biomass, it releases chemical energy in the form of heat. Biomass can be directly burned or converted into biogas or liquid biofuels, which again can be burned as fuels. Biomass is of four types –

  1. Agricultural and wood products
  2. Solid Wastes
  3. Landfill gas
  4. Alcohol fuels

Merits –

  • Biomass used as a fuel reduces the need for fossil fuels for the production of steam, heat, and electricity for industrial, agricultural, and residential use
  • Always available, renewable source of energy
  • Biomass fuel obtained from agricultural wastes can be used as a secondary product that adds value to the crops
  • Biomass crops use up CO2 and produce O2
  • Less money spent on foreign oil

Farm and Agri Engineering has changed the face of rural agriculture in India for the better. Ensure that you read all about it. While preparing for NABARD exams, be sure to sit for online mock tests. Taking regular mock tests will help you evaluate your performance and provide room for improvement.

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Read More Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) Study Notes:

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