Kirloskar introduces affordable farm machines
City: 

Kirloskar Oil Engines, manufacturer of diesel engines by sales, has introduced a range of smart and affordable farm machines targeted at the small and marginal farmers, investing Rs 100 crore.

The Pune-based BSE-listed company is strengthening its agriculture business with this move.

These smart farm machines are produced at its factory at Kagal in Kolhapur district in Maharashta.

Last year, out of the Rs 2,800 sales turnover at Kirloskar Oil Engines, its agriculture business accounted for over Rs 500 crore.

The range of ‘Mega T’ power tillers called Mega T 15 HP and Mega T 12 cost Rs 1.85 lakh and Rs 1.65 lakh, and the power weeders called Min T5 and Min T8 are priced at Rs 90,000 and Rs 99,000 respectively. 

“We are focusing on small and marginal farmers in the country through our innovative technology, products and delivery solutions to increase farm yield and income,” Antony Cheru-kara, vice-president corporate strategy and business head agriculture told Financial Chronicle.

He said success in farming is about smart investment, and farm yield can only be increased through mechanisation which should be affordable.

“Our smart machines are geared to increase farm productivity and income of farmers, especially the small and marginal farmers who have small holdings of two-four acres of land,” Cherukara said.

At present the company manufactures 1,000 units of power tillers and power weeders, which can be scaled up as per the market demand. Kirloskar competes with domestic brands such as Kamco and VST in the Indian market.

RR Deshpande, joint managing director at Kirloskar Oil Engines, said what the majority of farmers need is not expensive tractors that cost above Rs 7 lakh, plus Rs 2 lakh for implements. “The farmers want simple machines with more power, easy handling with less noise level,” he said.

“We are in fact creating a tractor like experience at our showrooms across the country and 50 per cent sales have come from those farmers who own a tractor,” Deshpande said.

“The introduction of the entire KMW range of the power tiller and power weeder shows our commitment to the farmers,” he added.

Cherukara said the Kirloskar brand has garnered 60 per cent market share in the 15 HP power tillers and power weeders in the country over the last three years.

“This shows the overwhelming acceptance of our products and services particularly amongst the farmers across all regions,” he said.

He said the less than 13 HP and 15 HP power tillers market was estimated at 52,000 units annually valued at over Rs 600 crore. This market is growing at about 15-20 per cent annually. The company plans to sell 8,000 units this year, up from 4,000 units it sold last year.

Columnist: 
Michael Gonsalves