In order to boost agricultural production in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), the Indian Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare 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 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.
“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.
With the lab in place, the farmers in J&K are hopeful that the lab will 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.