Associate Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering, Ranchi
Agriculture is the key source of livelihood for 80% of the rural population of the state. The agricultural economy of the Jharkhand state is characterized by dependence on nature, low investment, low productivity, inadequate irrigation facilities, and small lands holdings. Agricultural engineering integrates the technologies related to crop production. This discipline solves the issues related to crop production by implementing advanced mechanization such as precision farming, advance farm machinery technologies and post-harvest management and processing. In a nutshell, it is an apex body trying to provide ways to solve agriculture-related problem, bringing upon research and technology in the same frame. Engineering inputs to agriculture are required in development and optimal utilization of soil and water resources, irrigation and drainage, carrying out field operations for crop production, livestock and fishery with desired level of operational efficiency – achieving timeliness, precision in metering and placement of costly inputs of seed, fertilizer, pesticide, irrigation through machinery and power, practicing precision farming. High production and productivity cannot be sustained without matching harvest and post-harvest technologies that enable conservation of products and by-products from qualitative and quantitative damages. This will create storage capacity at farmer’s level to hold their perishable and semi-perishable commodities without excessive losses to negotiate with the forces of marketing, packaging, and transport to remunerative markets. For small farms, with financial limitations and management constraints, so common in India, there is a need for creating rural enterprises, custom service centers, agro service-centric, private or more so cooperative owned, catering to the needs and aspirations of weaker sections of the society. With fossil fuels depleting, new and renewable sources of energy need to be harnessed for production agriculture, agro-processing, and rural living based on solar, wind, hydro and bio-energies, energy from biomass of crop or livestock origin or energy plantation; innovative uses of traditional animate energy-men and draft animals, with a human touch, hold good prospects. These engineering and technological needs demand highly trained agricultural engineers, equipped with knowledge, skills, and practices of engineering technology with full appreciation of biosciences to handle the challenges before them. Since the Jharkhand State was not having Agricultural Engineering education programme at the undergraduate level, the initiative was taken by the Government and College of Agricultural Engineering has been established at Birsa Agricultural University Campus. B. Tech. programme in Agricultural Engineering has been introduced with an intake of the first batch of 40 students for the financial year 2018-19. The College of Agricultural Engineering is aimed to produce a good number of trained Agricultural Engineers to support and maintain the pace of agricultural development in the State.