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Sunday / May 26. 2024
HomeAgribusiness The tractor industry’s 2024 performance outlook is positive

 The tractor industry’s 2024 performance outlook is positive

Narinder Mittal, Country Manager & Managing Director, Agriculture Business – CNH Industrial India & SAARC, shares insights on India’s farm mechanisation industry with AgroSpectrum. Edited excerpts;

With renowned brands like Case IH and New Holland, CNH Industrial, a global leader in equipment and services, provides comprehensive agriculture solutions, including machinery, implements, and digital technologies. CNH has been at the forefront of delivering cutting-edge technology to farmers nationwide. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, CNH recently showcased agricultural machinery, including balers, combine harvesters, and tractors, at its Greater Noida facility. Narinder Mittal, Country Manager & Managing Director, Agriculture Business – CNH Industrial India & SAARC, shares insights on India’s farm mechanisation industry with AgroSpectrum. Edited excerpts;

How do you foresee the tractor and agriculture equipment business evolving in 2024?

Looking back at 2023, the tractor market experienced fluctuations, with growth in the first half followed by a softening of demand in the latter half of the year. In key regions like Maharashtra, and parts of Karnataka, particularly in the sugarcane farming belt, demand was lower. However, as we look ahead to 2024, the performance outlook is positive. Although the year may not witness a peak in growth, it is not expected to decline either. We anticipate growth to resume from the second half of 2024.

The agriculture sector plays a pivotal role in the overall economic growth. The Government of India has undertaken several initiatives, including the ambitious goal of doubling the income of farmers. This will not only help farmers achieve a better standard of living but also motivate them to contribute actively to their work. The agriculture sector is projected to contribute $600 billion to India’s GDP by 2030.

You have recently developed an artificial intelligence (AI) technology that enables tractor and agriculture equipment operators to work remotely. Do you believe that such technologies will revolutionise the Indian agriculture sector?

The adaptable Sense & Act application, developed by Augmenta and recently acquired by CNH, represents a significant advancement in AI technology. Initially integrated into intelligent sprayers, this is one example of the company’s AI technology that is built for after-market flexibility. It uses real-time sensors, camera vision, and AI capabilities to autonomously control precise application rates.

The ability for tractor and agricultural equipment operators to remotely conduct operations is undoubtedly a game-changer. It has the potential to significantly enhance productivity, reduce resource wastage, and propel mechanisation in Indian farming practices. While the technology is already primed for the global market, its integration into machines tailored for the Indian market may require some time. Various factors such as cost, infrastructure and the specific needs of farmers, must align to create a viable market. Nevertheless, the prospect of introducing such advanced and adaptable solutions holds immense promise for ushering in a new era of efficiency and sustainability in Indian agriculture.

Recently, there has been a surge in sales of balers in both small and large sizes. What factors are driving this increase, and do you have plans to commence manufacturing these balers in India?

While there is always an increase in demand for balers during the harvesting season, this year has seen a notable uptick, particularly in regions like Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. This heightened demand can be attributed to the concerted efforts of both the government and the farming community to mitigate crop stubble burning, particularly during the critical harvesting months of October and November. The Centre has allocated Rs 600 crore to states for managing paddy straws. This includes its new initiative on ex-situ supply chain management ahead of the stubble burning season this year with a special emphasis on Punjab and Haryana. As a result, balers are experiencing increased adoption in these areas.

New Holland manufactures small balers at our Pune plant, with some of its components imported from the United States. We aim to achieve complete localisation of our baler production by the middle of this year.

What are your expansion plans for 2024, and how do you intend to implement them?

In 2024, our primary objective is to maximise the production capacity of our existing facilities. Our engine plant in Greater Noida in particular, has commenced pilot production, with full-fledged production of engines compliant with new emission norms set to begin by the end of the year.

Furthermore, we are ramping up production at our Pune facility to cater to the need for diverse agricultural gear across India. This expansion includes the launch of tractor assemblies for the 35–42 HP range, with an expected production of 10,000 units in the coming year. Additionally, we are bringing our small square baler production in-house at our Pune facility to boost productivity and meet the unique demands of the Indian market.

To further enrich our product portfolio, our Pune facility will focus on manufacturing Case IH sugarcane harvesters and New Holland combine harvesters. At the same time, our global technology centre in India, operational since March 2021, and spanning 680,000 square feet, is equipped with state-of-the-art features such as an invention centre, vehicle simulation capabilities, and a cutting-edge Extended and Virtual Reality (XR/VR) lab. With over 700 engineers dedicated to advancing precision technology, supported by satellite offices in Bangalore and Pune, we’re committed to driving innovation in the farm machinery industry.

To read more click on:https://agrospectrumindia.com/e-magazine

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