Catalogue description Records of Agricultural Machinery
|Reference:||Division within MAF|
|Title:||Records of Agricultural Machinery|
Records of the Machinery Division and of the Agricultural Machinery Development Board.
|Legal status:||Public Record(s)|
Agriculture Machinery Development Board, 1942-1948
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Education Division, Machinery Branch, 1919-1939
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Machinery Supply Division, 1939-1945
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Supplies Division II, 1939-
|Physical description:||2 series|
|Administrative / biographical background:||
Government concern with the mechanisation of agriculture was stimulated by the First World War, when one of the responsibilities of the Food Production Department was to rationalise the distribution of farm machinery. The Ministry of Munitions was then responsible for supplies, and the functions of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries were advisory and consultative rather than executive. This continued to be so in the inter-war period when the ministry's duties in this field were discharged by a branch of the Education Division. During the Second World War the ministry was empowered to undertake various measures in regard to the supply and distribution of machinery within this country and abroad, and through the Agricultural Executive Committees maintained a machinery service for farmers. These duties were at first discharged by one of the Supplies Divisions and later by a Machinery Supply Division and a Machinery Operations Division. A National Institute of Agricultural Engineering was established, at first directly administered by the ministry, for the testing of machines and the development of new ones. An Agricultural Machinery Development Board was created in January 1942 to promote the general mechanical development of agriculture. In 1945 its terms of reference were widened to include horticulture and the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering was placed under its supervision.
Since the war the ministry's direct responsibilities in regard to agricultural machinery have been much reduced, the National Institute having become an independent research institute grant aided and supervised by the Agricultural Research Council and all advisory functions having passed first to the National Agricultural Advisory Service and then to the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service. In those counties where a machinery service is maintained it has been amalgamated with the field drainage service and is administered by the Land Drainage Division.
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