The usage of tractors for non-agricultural purposes in India has been growing over the years and is currently at almost 40 per cent.
Apart from farm-related work, tractors are increasingly being used in sand mines, brick kilns, road making, ferrying passengers etc.
“Although tractors have always been used in non-farm purposes, earlier it was more personal in nature. However, the usage is now more commercial in nature and growing fast,” Shenu Agarwal, marketing head of Escorts Agri Machinery Group, told Business Standard.
He said the trend started almost 10 years back.
“Tractor manufacturers are well aware of this phenomenon and modern tractors are increasingly being improvised to serve this aspect as well,” he underlined.
Agarwal said tractors were being used for almost six-eight months in a year compared to two-three months earlier.
“This has necessitated the development of more fuel efficient and powerful tractors, which is the cornerstone of Escorts,” he said.
The domestic tractor market comprises over half-a-million units per annum, which has been growing at a compounded rate of over 10 per cent in the last five years.
“However, the growth has been rather flat this year, but with the recovery of the monsoon and improving economic sentiments, growth is expected to bounce back,” Sameer Tandon, sales head, Escorts, said.
He said the proposed foreign direct investment in retail is likely to increasing farm income and consequently have a positive impact on the farm equipment market.
Meanwhile, Escorts launched ‘Diesel Saver Plus’ tractor series in the Uttar Pradesh market, which it claims offers more mileage and horsepower. The series caters to the emerging ‘commerce-minded’ segment of Indian farmers, who use tractors not just for farming, but also as a source of generating additional income.