The need for mechanical farming or farm mechanization came to be felt in the 20th century. Previously, agricultural activities were mostly performed manually or with the help of cattle. As the years passed by, the population increased tremendously and there was a corresponding rise in the demand for food. For an agricultural country like Pakistan or Australia, the export of grain and other agricultural produce was necessary for earning foreign exchange. The green revolution of the modern age, brought in by modern machinery, improved seeds and fertilizers, and scientific water distribution caused agriculture to grow .by leaps and bounds. The advanced countries like the US, Canada, and France reaped full benefits of this revolution in agriculture because, side-by-side, their industrial progress was taking them to new heights.
In our country, unluckily, the use of tractors, tube-well engines, and other earthmoving, seed-sowing and watering machines caused a number of serious problems. First of all, with a surplus and unemployed labor force in the villages, the use of machinery made so many more villagers idle. One tractor, for example, meant work done by fifty or more farmers or laborers. One thresher that separated grain from the plants meant work done by a hundred or more farmers or laborers. When so many laborers get idle, they generally move to the towns and cities in search of work. The cities cannot absorb all this surplus labor.
Greater and successful farming is possible in the true sense when there is industry producing farm machinery like tractors and harvesters on a massive scale and at cheap rates. When the components or parts of these machines are imported from abroad (as it is happening in Pakistan), the very purpose of mechanical farming is defeated. Our factories do not “produce” farm equipment, they only “assemble” it as they assemble cars.
Farm mechanization is truly beneficial when it makes possible multiple cropping or raising of more than one crop in a season. With the availability of mechanical sowing, reaping (cutting) and watering instruments and fertilizers, it is possible to have two or more crops of certain vegetables and grains. Then mechanical farming makes possible crops rotation, that is, the use of fields one after another for certain crops. This keeps the fertility of the soil high and results in greater productivity) Mechanical farming, if introduced on a large scale, will reduce our dependence on animals for cultivation.
The attention that we now give to animals on farms will be shifted to rearing (bringing up) animals. and poultry for food. This will help us to have more milk and meat for the population and for export. In this age of competition, we cannot resist the demand for wholesale mechanized farming. If we do not mechanize most or all of our farms, we shall be left far behind countries like Australia and New Zealand.