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Abstract

This paper shows, by using census and various survey data, that there is absolute shortage of draft power in the country. Two important manifestations of shortage are : (1) 40-50 per cent of power animals are female and this proportion has been increasing. (2) the quality of animal is poor and this also has been deteriorating. The paper identified two major causes of increased use of female rather than engine power to meet power shortage. First, the characteristics of prevailing agrarian structure with small-scale fragmented farming, unequal ownership and consequent prevalence of sharecropping inhibit rapid adoption and efficient use of improved farm technology. Second, although draft power shortage has been recognized for a long time, no consistent policy has been pursued to solve the problem. Consequently draft power shortage has contributed, along with many other things, to the slow growth of agricultural production and employment. It is concluded that a clearly defined mechanization policy need to be formulated very urgently. The most immediate objective of such a policy should be to find ways of restoring the social position of the cow as the producer of milk.

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