Photo by: William Daigneault
The Indian tractor manufacturer says that it will be shifting its focus beyond just tractors to work on producing an entire “farm machinery ecosystem” to better serve its farmers. This follows a large drop in Indian tractor sales that pushed Mahindra to cut production at most of its facilities. Coupled with the Indian Prime Minister’s promise to double farmers’ income by 2022, dwindling groundwater supplies and a labor shortage, a market has been created that encourages Mahindra to explore alternative manufacturing opportunities.
According to LiveMint, Shubhabrata Saha, chief of operations, farm division of Mahindra, spoke enthusiastically on Mahindra’s future in the farm equipment market, saying, “Productivity per inch of farmland will have to increase significantly, and this will lead to faster penetration of farm mechanization as a measure to adopt better agricultural practices."
Mahindra plans to focus on advanced and crop-specific technology, an admittedly small market in India. This follows several years of acquisitions in advanced fields of agriculture, giving Mahindra a decided advantage in the domestic market. “In India, the application of a tractor is primarily land preparation. It is hardly used when the plant grows or the crop is harvested. The industry is slated to see an inflexion point soon when application of specific farm machinery will be able to impact farm productivity and farmers’ lives," Saha said. Examples that Mahindra intends to explore include potato equipment, rice transplanters, drones, crop inputs, harvesters and sprayers.
“We are also working on soil mapping to help farmers estimate the right input of fertilizers. We expect the next 3-5 years to be very exciting for farm equipment,” Saha said.