Tractors have been an integral part of the Indian agriculture sector since the mid-20th century. The history of tractors in India is a fascinating one, with several factors contributing to the growth of this industry. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the history of tractors in India and how they have transformed the Indian agriculture landscape.
The Beginning of Tractors in India
The first tractors in India were imported in the 1940s, mainly from the United States. These tractors were primarily used for large-scale farming, such as in plantations, and were not very popular among small farmers due to their high cost. The use of tractors in India began to increase in the 1950s when the government started importing tractors to improve agricultural productivity.
In 1954, the Indian government launched the Tractor Board to promote the use of tractors in agriculture. The board was responsible for the import of tractors and their distribution to farmers across the country. The government also provided subsidies and tax incentives to farmers who purchased tractors.
The Rise of Indigenous Tractors
Despite the government's efforts to promote the use of tractors, their high cost remained a challenge for small farmers. This led to the emergence of indigenous tractor manufacturers in India. The first indigenous tractor manufacturer in India was Swaraj Tractors, established in 1965 in Punjab.
The Swaraj Tractors were an instant hit among farmers due to their low cost and ease of maintenance. The company quickly became a leading player in the Indian tractor market, with its tractors being used extensively in Punjab and Haryana.
In the 1970s and 1980s, several other indigenous tractor manufacturers emerged in India. These included Mahindra & Mahindra, Escorts, and TAFE (Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited). These companies were able to offer tractors at lower prices compared to imported tractors, making them accessible to small farmers.
The Indian government continued to support the growth of the tractor industry by providing subsidies and incentives to both manufacturers and farmers. In the 1980s, the government launched the Technology Mission on Oilseeds to promote the use of tractors in oilseed cultivation. This led to a surge in the demand for tractors in the country.
In the 1990s, the government initiated economic reforms that led to the liberalization of the Indian economy. This led to an influx of foreign tractor manufacturers in the country. Companies like John Deere, Massey Ferguson, and New Holland entered the Indian market and began producing tractors locally.
Modern Tractors in India
Today, India is one of the largest tractor markets in the world, with over 800,000 tractors sold annually. The tractor industry in India is dominated by indigenous manufacturers like Mahindra & Mahindra, TAFE, and Escorts. These companies have been able to compete with foreign manufacturers by offering tractors at lower prices.
Modern tractors in India come equipped with advanced features like power steering, air conditioning, and GPS navigation. These features have made tractors more comfortable and efficient to use. Tractors are now being used not only for farming but also for other activities like transportation, construction, and mining.
John Deere in India
From 35 horsepower to 89 horsepower, the John Deere Tractor Company manufactures several different tractor models. It also ranks highly among exporters. John Deere is currently operating individually as John Deere India Private Limited after formerly working in a joint venture with L&T. From Pune and Dewas, it is currently manufacturing tractors in the 5000 series.
Sonalika Tractors is known for its focus on innovation and technology, and its tractors come equipped with advanced features like power steering, efficient engines, and comfortable cabins. The company has a strong presence in India and exports its tractors to several countries across the world, including Europe, Africa, and South America