Novel scheme to revolutionise farm mechanisation in Karnataka



Bangalore based company VST Tillers & Tractors Ltd has entered into an agreement with the Karnataka Government for establishment of 92 Custom Hire Service Centres (CHSC) in nine districts. According to Mr B.C.S.Iyengar Director corporate strategy ,the scheme which is the brain child of Agriculture Minister Sri Krishna Byregowda will be a boon to small farmers and will revolutionise farm mechanization in Karnataka.

In its bid to reach out to the farmers of Karnataka, many of whom can ill-afford farm machinery, VST Tillers & Tractors has come out with a novel scheme which has features that will help the small and marginal farming community to have sustainable agriculture production. This novel scheme can be scaled up to the entire state and also the country as it needs effective planning, based on farming needs locally.

Iyengar of  VST Tillers & Tractors said ‘In India, small and marginal farmers  who account for over 70 per cent of the farming community cannot afford to buy costly machines and farming equipment. In order to reach the benefits of farm mechanisation to the small and marginal farmers, the backbone of Indian agriculture, the government in association with VST Tillers & Tractors is setting up 92 CHSC which will provide farm machinery at affordable rental rates.”

The Agriculture Minister has said that Karnataka is giving priority to mechanisation as it is the only way to increase agricultural production and efficiencies in agriculture. With farm labour becoming scarce, it is imperative to have farm mechanisation for quick returns. The State, along with the Centre, has been pursuing the objective of farm mechanisation through various schemes of providing subsidy to farmers for purchase of agricultural machinery. But this is a novel scheme that should benefit the large section of farming community.

During 2014-15 the State Government gave 75 per cent subsidy to Societies and NGO’S for the establishment of 175 CHSCs. This year it has planned to establish over 300 centres and for that purpose the government has  extended to organizations and farm machinery manufacturers. Each centre will have acap of Rs 50 lakhs that should be used to shelf various agriculture machinery and equipment that are required by the farmers in that region .The hiring and service charges will be determined by the committee constituted for the purpose after taking into consideration farmer’s affordability and economic feasibility of the CHSC. In the first year of operation, the subsidy will be 75 per cent and will be reduced to 50 per cent in the second year.
VST Tillers & Tractors, largest manufacturers of power tillers and the pioneer in compact tractors in India has a range of products that includes rice transplanters and self propelled reapers  that are very much in use by the small farmers . The company has vast experience in farm mechanization programmes and has successful associations in Kerala, Odisha, Maharashtra etc in promoting custom hire solution to farmers.