Fun on farm. Who will not wish their work to be done in an easier and better manner? Gone are the days of those old harvesting methods, farm machinery is the latest trend. Providing rest to those hard-working palms and encouraging rural as well as urban to undergo farming as their profession and make most out of it.
Have you ever thought of mixing agriculture with entertainment. Sounds funny, right? Some international countries have made it possible. They have termed it ‘Agritainment’. This fancy word was coined to encourage rural, especially the urban lives for joyous farming.
This is not the end of the initiative, keeping this in tab a few international and multi-national farm machinery companies have bay-watched the Indian agricultural markets and are finding ways to open and likely to set up their manufacturing units in India and encourage farming profession to prosper.
This is because of the varied reasons like farm labour shortage that is likely to get worse as India expands its rural-work programme, known as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Under the programme, villagers dig ditches for irrigation and help build roads and other infrastructure.
The facts reveal that Indian agriculture has been evolving mechanically, though lately, yet boosting productivity in a sector that has long relied on cheap, surplus labour to tend crops in the world’s second-most populous country.
“It’s very difficult for people to stand under the sun for hours say from dawn to dusk. The population on one hand and labor shifts on other led to change the farm landscape. As people are migrating to urban for better livelihood therefore introducing mechanisation and encouraging farming have even become most importance aspects,” says Sulekha Pani, a Programme Director, Aagan, Rural Development.
Like Amesh Tripathy of Haryana who is actively involved in farming business, many other agricultural holders too hire a number of farm hands to work on the particular season to harvest crop and bring yield to their productivity. With the evolving time, technology and machineries are penetrating in the agricultural farm lands, thus, farmers now use a combine harvester instead of the primitive practice. ‘Machines and Manpower’ to finish the job in a faster and simpler way.
The major drawback that has set for Indian agriculture sector is the acute labor shortage that has resulted in a vast opportunity for farm-equipment makers and transform the old-fashioned cultivation. Thus, foreign farm equipment manufacturers are taking a closer look at the Indian market at a time when rural economy is thriving and farmhands are difficult to get while use of technology is very limited. In the recent time a few well-known farm machinery companies like Lemken, a German farm equipment manufacturer, started its first manufacturing facility outside Europe that is in Nagpur. An Italian farm equipment manufacturer too has been set up a unit in Northwest near Pune.
“The acceptance of farm-equipment seems very strong because of increasing adoption,” says Darvesh Khalid, a farm analyst. He predicts the market will expand at least 10 percent annually in coming five years.
Likewise many Indian farm machinery companies have tightened up their shoes to compete and play with major international/foreign farm machinery companies which are likely to set up their manufacturing units in India in the next three to four years, bringing in a huge investment.
One of such kind is Dev Machinery LLP, the first unit of the farm equipment company (Farmland) that was established in 1969 under the visionary of Late S Gurdev Singh Matharoo manufactured turnkey projects. Today the firm offers 2000 engineering products in more than 37 countries including South Africa and North America.
Inderjeet Singh Matharoo, Executive Director, Farmland states that the company is all set and ready for the international competition. “We have introduced new product range in agriculture implements for domestic as well as international market. We have newly designed ‘Rotavator’ which is available in different sizes from 3 feet to 10 feet. I can say its a cut-throught-market. Though our farm equipments have high demand in the internationally, still we are facing trouble in the Indian market.Its simply because of the reason that the farm machineries aren’t very popular in the Indian farm lands. Things are certainly changing yet giving ways to the foreign machineries firm to set their markets here.”
Presently, the group is making products such as dewatering pump in four different series, dewatering quick couplings, construction equipments, irrigation couplings, strainer etc.
LandKing, a farming machinery equipment company, too had prepared modules to meet the farming requirements of Indian market. “The use of non-tractor farm equipment in India is still very limited, which is why Indian farm mechanisation is called ‘tractorisation’. And a few companies like Mahindra have captured the Indian tractor market. We have started and spread with laser land leveler equipment for farming. We are witnessing increased demand of the product as it is not labour bound and save time, make sowing easier and improve productivity,” says Joginder Singh Bankura, Director, LandKing.
The company is also set to open in international markets in coming years. “With the expansion of the industry, the capacity will increase in coming year,” adds Bankura. “Demand for farm equipment is growing in India because of a robust rural economy, government subsidies, farm labour shortage, improved availability of farm credit and custom hiring. I wish and hope farm machineries are self-manufactured and self-utilised so that the economy and the farm industry grow in India,” further adds Bankura.
Similarly, Beri Udyog is a globally renowned manufacturer of farm equipment under the name of FieldKing. They too have their presence for helping to grow farm industry in India and 40 other countries. “With our pursuit to perfection in all the spheres of the business, we have made a strong presence in domestic as well as overseas market. Our state of the art manufacturing unit is equipped with advanced machinery capable of executing bulk orders with precision. We use best quality of raw material and sustainable engineering designs for manufacturing innovative implements of International standards. We have also recently applied for TQM & KAIZEN – the Japanese system of continuous improvement,” says Vikram Beri, Executive Director, Beri Udyog.
Sharing his experience on foreign markets Beri emphasised that Indian farm scenario will certainly change as credits and subsidies policies for farm machineries policies are been implemented by the central as well as the state government.The demand for farm machineries will increase resulting in economy growth certainly.
The company manufacture products which include rotavator, disc harrows, tyne ridgers, spring loaded tillers, land levellers, etc. “Marked by more than three decades of experience, we have been contributing to agricultural growth of the country by providing innovative implements at the most affordable prices,” adds Beri.
Major farm machinery companies have started financing operations in India, lending to farmers and dealers so they can buy the equipment. “It’s seen rather we can say it’s predicted that in coming years there will be increase in population, income levels, the need for mechanisation and thus to have an access to equipment the financial aid is required which most companies are getting prepared for,” says Khalid.
Many farm machinery companies are also boosting production of other farm equipment, such as combine harvesters, and plans to launch rice transplanters, the equipment used to move rice shoots from nursery beds and plant them in fields.
Thus, the new types of machinery are already being used by the farmers in different parts of the country. “Our lives have become much easier by the help of the machines,” says Ganesh Das, a farmer.
Likewise it has opened ways for job opportunities to penetrate into rural segment especially in factories and services. Apart from this, the government is even countering ways for rural job-creation programme. Several projects and schemes have lined up and come into practice by several government and non-government organisations.