Tractor Industry in India


By

Dr. Prachi Singh
Disha Institute of Management and Technology (DIMAT)
Raipur, (C.G.)
 


Higher productivity and greater output are the two major contributions in farm mechanization. Tractors form an integral part of farm mechanization and have a crucial role to play in increasing agricultural productivity. Tractor is a highly versatile piece of machinery having a multitude of uses, used in agriculture both for land reclamation and for carrying out various crop cultivation and also employed for carrying out various operations connected with raising the crops by attaching suitable implements and to provide the necessary energy for performing various crop production operations involved in the production of agricultural crops. Tractors are capital intensive, labour displaying used as a mode of transport, in electricity generation, in construction industry and for haulage operation. It has now become an integral part of farm structure .The application of tractor for agricultural activities which swept India during the last twenty years have erased the problem of farmers. Farm mechanization program in India aims to integrate the use of available human and animal farm power with mechanical sources of power for increasing the productivity.

Indian tractor industry, comparatively young by world standards have expanded at a spectacular pace during last four decades. Consequently it now occupies a place of pride in India's automobile industry. U.S.A., U.S.S.R. and only a few Western European countries exceed the current production of tractors in India, but in terms of growth India's growth is unmatched even with countries of long history of tractor manufacturing. The spectacular achievement reflects the maturity and dynamism of tractor manufacturers and also the policies adopted by the government to enable it to effectively meet the demand. The tractor industry in India has made a significant progress in terms of production and capacity as well as indigenisation of technology. It is a typical sector where both imported technology and indigenous developed technology have developed towards meeting the overall national requirements. The global spotlight on tractors manufacturers certainly in terms of volume seems to be swinging away from the USA, UK and Western and Eastern Europe towards India where growth in the number of producers and the total volume in recent years have been impressive. In India tractor industry has played a vital role in the development.

India's gross cropped area is next only to United States of America and Russia and along with fragmented land holdings has helped India to become the largest tractor market in the world. But it drops to eight position in terms of total tractor in use in the country when compared to international figures, only 3% of total tractors used all over the world . It is to be noted that while the overall automobile industry is facing recession the tractor industry is growing at 9%.About 20% of world tractor production is carried out in our country only. The arable land in India is high as 12% of the total arable land in the world. Tractor market in India is about Rs 6000 crore. On an average around 400000 tractors are produced and their sale is 260000.Uttar Pradesh is the largest tractor market in our country. One out of every four tractor is being purchased here. Indian tractor market has to be viewed considering its position in the world with respect to key parameters as given below:

INDIAN TRACTOR MARKET

DESCRIPTION

UNITS

WORLD TOTAL/AVG

INDIA

INDIA RANK

Arable Land

Mn Hectare

1444

170

2

Irrigated Area

Mn Hectare

249.6

45.8

2

Tractors In Use

Tractors/000 Hectares

28

10.5

8


The Tractors available in developed countries have advanced features and accessories that is not found in Indian tractors .Tractor industry has made a steady and satisfactory progress even in drought areas. Four factors have contributed to the steady progress:

* Government laid stress on the mechanization of agriculture with a view to boost food grain production. Therefore agriculture sector started receiving financial assistance.

* There is an increase in awareness among the farmers for the need of farm mechanization and are keen to acquire tractor with the help of credit facilities from financial institutions.

* Agronomists believe that there is need for more tilling due to depletion of moisture and repeated cultivation of land .It is precisely for this reason that the demand for tractors was well maintained even during a draught period.

* Animal power available is too inadequate to meet power demand of our farmers. Mechanized operations are preferred to eliminate drudgery and delay, also labour shortage during harvesting increased the use of tractor.

At the end of the day there are enough reasons to believe that the industry will grow because:

* More farmers are opting for multiple cropping over last decade. Country's net cropped area had remain virtually stagnant while gross cropped area increased by about 4.7% .This indicate the  increased popularity of multiple cropping.

* 95% of tractor sales are on credit. Credit is extended by commercial banks, state land development banks and regional rural banks.

* Irrigation facilities reduce reliance on the monsoon and allow for quick yielding varieties of food -grain .This reduces the cropping cycle to 3-4 months from the traditional 5-6 months. Reduced cropping cycle require deep tilling which translates into higher demand for tractors.

* Cost of tractors in India is the cheapest in world .The cost of a finished tractor here is as much as the cost of gear box in developed countries. Hence there exists tremendous scope for exports.

    * According to a study conducted by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry , Since purchase of tractor involves a big investment its demand in affected by the availability and easiness of credit. A higher availability of credit will lead to a higher demand for tractors .

    * The tractors between the 31-40 horse power  and 31-40 hp range dominate the market .The reason for medium horse power  tractors being more popular is that the major tractor demanding states like Punjab Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have plenty of alluvial soil which do not require deep tilling. Lately it is visualised that higher hp segment has the maximum growth potential Higher horse powered tractors will be the future requirement with the government intention to encourage contract farming through the leasing in and leasing out of farm lands.

    * Regarding exports India of latter has been exporting tractors to a number of countries, but predominantly to Srilanka ,Nepal and U.S.A .However the study reveals that exports from India are going down in the recent years .The major reason for the decline in exports of tractors of tractor from India is being the failure to find an extensive market overseas ,deteriorating foreign exchange situation in African countries and their poor buying capacity, comparatively cheaper imports of second hand tractors by South East Asian countries from developed countries and the disintegration of erstwhile U.S.S.R. but also  the potential export markets  can be explored by Indian in the future. Since Indian tractors confirm to the international standard by virtue of their foreign collaboration it is possible for India to export to more tractors to the rice and wheat growing countries like Canada, Philippines and Bangladesh.

* FOREIGN COLLABORATION

Tractor industry along with others benefited from this policy which allowed free inflow of foreign technology .The manufacture of tractors started in India mainly with the help of foreign collaboration secured from internationally reputed companies from the USA ,UK, USSR ,WEST GERMANY, POLAND ,CZECH SLOVAKIA . Most of the models which were taken up for manufacture in India were developed overseas. Soon after the decision for the manufacture of tractors was made during second plan, government approved number of foreign collaboration agreements. The establishment and present status of tractor industry owes a great deal to the support received by the Indian entrepreneurs from foreign collaboration during the initial phase of manufacture.

DSIR has introduced a scheme, "National Register of Foreign Collaborations", which envisages review and analysis of imported technologies in the country and suggested measures for appropriate choices acquisition and implementation of foreign know-how. Major objective of scheme is:

* To undertake financial, economic and legal analysis of set of data on foreign collaboration.

* Carry out a technological analysis of the imported technology and provide a stage of art technology in the country and status of implementation of collaboration.

* Co-ordinate with Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Finance by providing technology data input.

* Selective support to strength measures in Research and Development for technology absorption.

List of tractor manufacturers, their collaborators and the year of commencement of production:

MANUFACTURERS AND COLLABORATORS

TABLE 4:

MANUFACTURER

COLLABORATOR

YEAR

Eicher Tractors Ltd

Gebr,Eicher Tractor. West Germany

1961

Gujarat Tractors Ltd

Motokov -Praha. Czechoslovakia

1963

TAFE

Messey Ferguson. UK

1961

Escorts Ltd

Moloimport Arazawa Zaklady Mechaniczne .Ursus Poland

1964

Mahindra And Mahindra

International Harvestor. UK

1965

+Escorts Tractor Ltd

Ford .U.K.

1971

Hindustan Machine Tools

Motokov -Praha. Czechoslovakia

1971

*Kirloskar Tractors Lmt

Klochner-Humboldt Deutz. Germany

1974

Punjab Tractor Limited

CMERI.INDIA

1974

*Pittie Tractor Limited

Own know-how

1974

*Harsha Tractor Ltd

Moto Import. Russia

1975

*Auto Tractor Ltd

British Leyland. U.K.

1981

**Pratap Steel Rolling Mill

Own know-how

1983

Vst Tillers

Mitsubishi. Japan

1983

*United Auto Tractor Ltd

Uzina  Tractorul. Romania

1986

*Asian Tractor Ltd

Own know-how

1989

Bajaj Tempo Ltd

Own know-how

1987

International Tractors 

Own know-how

1998

Larsen And Tourbo Ltd

John Deere. USA

1999

New Holland Tractor

New Holland Tractors .Italy

1999

Greaves Ltd

Same Deutz- Fahr. Italy

1999


 


Dr. Prachi Singh
Disha Institute of Management and Technology (DIMAT)
Raipur, (C.G.)
 

Source : E-mail October 3, 2006

 

     

 

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