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 Agricultural and Forestry Machinery in India: ISIC 2921

  • Due to decreasing area of cultivated land and fewer people working in rural areas, India has growing demand for farm machinery. This gives a great opportunity for international companies to enter Indian by forging alliances with national players. These include Kuboto and Mitsubishi of Japan, Zhejiang Sifang of China, John Deere of the US and New Holland of Italy.
  • The total market expanded by an annual rate of 16% over the review period, and after 2002 it faced double-digit growth. Due to the nature of the market, the main source of expansion was ever-increasing purchases for investment purposes, which saw its share of the total market increase from an already high 84% in 2000 to 88% in 2010. In value terms investment purchases grew at an average annual rate of 16%, to exceed INR334 billion in 2010. Business deals, which mainly consisted of service and installation purchases, gradually decreased in relative terms from 16% in 2000 to 12% in 2010. However, in terms of value such purchases generated 13% annual growth, which translated into a value of INR45 billion in 2010. Households’ contribution was virtually non-existent. When it comes to farm mechanisation, India still stands behind the world average. For example, India had a density of 16 tractors for 1,000 hectares in 2010, while the global average was 19 tractors and the USA 27. Therefore there is a need in India for greater technological development. Moreover, the farm equipment industry is dominated by unorganised players, which accounted for more than a 50% share.
  • Over the review period the turnover of local producers grew almost 5-fold to INR397 billion in 2010 at an average annual growth rate of 17%. However, turnover value was influenced by rising production prices – producer price index with 1997 as the base year was 152 in 2010. Sales of agricultural tractors represented the main source of turnover generation (36% of total turnover in 2010). In addition, sales of agricultural tractors grew most – at 18% a year – and stood at INR143 billion by the end of the review period. Sales of other agricultural and forestry machinery, e.g. machinery for the preparation of animal feedstuffs, poultry-keeping machinery, poultry incubators and brooders or agricultural, horticultural, forestry, poultry- or bee-keeping machinery, generated virtually the same amount of turnover over the period and grew at an average annual rate of 17%, with turnover of INR136 billion in 2010. Harvesting and threshing machinery was third at 15% of total turnover in 2010. An average annual growth rate of 15% accrued to INR61 billion in 2010. Lastly, sales of soil preparation machinery generated the remaining part of total turnover – 14% in 2010. Yearly growth rate of 15% culminated in INR57 billion in 2010. Tractors are the most commonly used equipment on Indian farms and account for the greatest share of agricultural machinery. Mahindra & Mahindra is the largest player in India in the tractor sector, holding around 40% of the total Indian tractor market in 2009. Other important domestic agricultural machinery enterprises include Kirloskare Oil Engines, Bharat Earth Movers Ltd, Telco and Escorts.
  • Imported production did not gain ground in the local market. Although a 5-fold increase, and 24% annual growth, was registered over the period, amounting to INR7 billion in 2010, the fraction of imports in the total market never exceeded 2%. China was the main import partner, whose share increased dramatically in 2010 to almost 50% of total imports. While other import partners, e.g. Japan, the UK, the USA and Italy, all lagged behind in terms of proportion of total imports, with shares in 2010 of 9%, 8%, 5% and 5% respectively.
  • Exports, on the other hand, grew more dramatically, rising by more than 20 times over the review period. Average annual growth of 38% amounted to more than INR34 billion at the end of the review period. In 2010 9% of total product output was exported. The USA represented the most important export partner, accounting for 43% of total exports over the period, although 2009 and 2010 saw the share contract to 33% and 30% respectively as the economic downturn hit. The other export partners, such as Italy, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, each accounted for around 5-6% of total exports.
  • Due to the nature of the industry, the major part of total costs came from business deals. The portion went up from 75% in 2000 to 88% of total costs in 2010. An average annual growth rate of 18% led to a 5-fold expansion in value terms, or INR293 billion in 2010. On the other hand both labour and taxes came down to 6% in 2010, as opposed to 8% and 17% in 2000. However, in terms of value costs grew at an average annual rate of 14% and 6%, which translated into INR21 billion for both. These developments suggest that the industry has been exploiting the advancements in mechanisms, which have improved efficiency, effectiveness and quality of production. The contract farming concept was recently implemented in Indian rural areas, giving an opportunity for famers to benefit from new technologies, financing and training with contractors’ support. As contractors are usually large organised players, they have the financial possibilities to provide inputs in terms of technology and training to the farmer, to improve the yield and quality of produce. Therefore, contract farming contributes to growing mechanisation of the country’s farms. Successful examples of contract farming ventures in India include companies such as Pepsi Foods, Rallis and Appachi Cotton. Profit margins (EBITDA) gradually increased in relative terms from 13% of total turnover in 2000 to 16% in 2010. In value terms, profit margins grew at an annual rate of 20% and reached INR62 billion in 2010.
  • Due to the fast growing population in India, demand for agricultural production is also booming. Industry is expected to grow by 16 % annually from 2011-2016. The Chairman of Working Group on Agriculture Production, B. S. Hooda, predicts that before 2020 the country will need 294 million tonnes of food grain. To reach this, consistent 2.5% annual growth in food production will be required. Therefore, increased mechanisation of farms will be essential to improve agricultural productivity.

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