HYDERABAD : With the agriculture sector using technology in a big way, German agriculture machinery and equipment manufacturer CLAAS Agricultural Machinery sees great potential in the farm equipment sector in India. The company, part of German Agriculture Alliance, recently signed pacts with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments to distribute forage harvesters to farmers in the two states. Forage harvesters are used in cutting maize crop and preparing fodder for cattle.
Using these farm equipment can boost dairy output to a great extent, according to Mrityunjaya Singh, managing director of CLAAS Agricultural Machinery. “By feeding animals with silage, a better quality fodder, productivity can be increased. Forage harvesters are used in production of silage,” he said.
He noted that despite being the largest producer of milk, India has less productivity. “The main reason for low productivity is lack of good fodder. While in most countries, average yield of milk per animal per day is 18-20 litres, in India it is 4-6 litres on an average,” he added.
While forage harvesters are not used widely in the country at the moment, Singh feels these machines have huge scope for growth, keeping in view the size of the dairy sector and the need for quality fodder.
“We have entered into an MoU with Telangana and AP states to distribute forage harvesters to farmers. Besides tying up with governments, we are also focusing on creating awareness about these new segment of machines among farming and dairy community across India and aim to sell about 1000 machines by 2025,” he said.
CLAAS has a production facility at Chandigarh, which has the capacity to manufacture 2,000 agricultural machines per year. Along with other machines like paddy harvesters, forage harvesters will be manufactured here. “We are the leaders in paddy harvesting machines in India with more than 55 per cent market share. We are also leaders in forage harvesters globally with more than 50 per cent share.
This gives us an advantage to popularise and promote forage harvesters in India. We have customised forage harvesters for Indian dairy farmers and entrepreneurs and priced it around `4-5 lakh to make it affordable for them,” added Singh. CLAAS is a 103-year-old family owned German company, with an annual global turnover of over $4 billion.