Labour Shortage Boosts Agri Machine Sales.
The availability of abundant and cheap labour has confined farm mechanisation in India to tractors widely. Now village youths turn towards the cities to find better paying work in services and factories.
According to the experts, the shortage of farm labour and its rising cost are among the main reasons for the increasing mechanisation of Indian farming. The chairman of the technical committee and immediate past president of Tractor Manufacturers' Association, T R Kesavan said, "This is not restricted to pockets but spread all across."
Tractors still outsell other farm equipment like power tillers and combine harvesters. The technical adviser to industry body Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers' Association (AMMA), Surendra Singh said that, the market for specialised machinery, such as threshers, rotavators, transplanters, reapers, zero till drills, laser levellers and power weeders, is worth Rs 32,000 crore now.
In three-five years the industry could touch the Rs 37,000-40,000 crore level, growing at its present yearly rate of 5-8%. That will make it as large as the tractor market is now, He added.
While local players like Tirth Agro Technology that makes Shaktiman brand of implements have cornered 85-90% of the market in the initial shift to mechanisation, the organised players have started paying closer attention to this segment.
Tractor market leader Mahindra & Mahindra, for instance, has acquired 33% stake in Mitsubishi Mahindra Agri-Machinery and 35% stake in Finland-based Sampo Rosenlew, which, analysts say, will increase its presence in the agri-implements business in India.
German company Lemken and Italian Maschio Gaspardo have set up manufacturing facilities in India. Grimme India, another MNC subsidiary, is offering implements for potato crops. In 2018, the size of the global implements business is estimated to be $131 billion.