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VST to roll out mini tractors for small farmers

Posted on Apr 26 2014 | IANS

Hosur (Tamil Nadu), April 25 : VST Tillers Tractors Ltd Friday commissioned its Rs.70-crore plant here to manufacture four-wheel drive mini tractors for small farmers in the country.

Located on a 14.6-acre land in the state-run Sipcot industrial complex in Hosur, about 40 km from Karnataka's capital Bangalore across the border, the plant has an installed capacity to roll out about 36,000 mini tractors per annum.

"We are the only company which manufactures various kinds of machinery, including power tillers, tractors and diesel engines for small and marginal farmers who can take to mechanised farming in place of farm labour, which has become a scarce commodity," B.C.S. Iyengar, VST executive director, told reporters on the occasion.

The 46-year-old Bangalore-based company has tied up with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan for technical collaboration.

"Our two mini tractor models with 18.5 horsepower (HP) and 22 HP are ideally suited to small and marginal farmers as they are affordably priced and versatile to use in many farm-related applications," Iyengar said.

The twin models were used extensively during trials for spraying application in vineyards and horticultural products in Maharashtra and on cotton fields in Gujarat.

"The compact model tractor can be used for puddling operation, dry tilling, cultivation, mould board plough, spraying pesticides, redging and transportation," Iyengar pointed out.

"Our compact models have been designed for multi-purpose functions as they have lower turning radius, vibration free, easy to operate and can be used in all seasons with lower diesel consumption," he said.

The company is expanding its marketing network to reach out farmers in other parts of the country and help them improve yields.

"With the launch of these two models, we are targeting a sales turnover of Rs.1,000 crore over the next couple of years from Rs.600 crore we achieved in 2013-14 fiscal," he added.

Though India is the world's largest tractor market, the industry sold 5,90,672 units in 2012-13 as against 6,07,658 units in 2011-12 due to sluggish growth in the farm sector.

"We expect the industry to bounce back with the farm sector doing better after a good monsoon last fiscal. With the availability of labour and its cost becoming a challenge, low-cost mechanisation will fuel growth for power tillers and low HP tractors," Iyengar added.

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