Global firms Aeris India and ‘Hello Tractors’ have collaborated together to provide an Uber-like rental and hiring facility for tractors in the country.
The platform, which will start as pilot in eastern India with 500 tractors in its fold, plans to gradually expand the concept in other farm machines as well that includes combines, rotavators, harvesters etc.
“We have been working on this concept in Nigeria since the last one year with 500 tractors which has been fairly successful and our studies show that around 40 per cent of time was saved and cost of production has come down by 2.5 times,” Rishi Bhatnagar, president of Aeris India told Business Standard.
Aeris already provides IoT-based solution in India in a host of sectors that includes healthcare, smart cities, water recycling, automotive etc.
Bhatnagar said in Nigeria, their partners ‘Hello Tractors’ works with small and marginal farmers who own less than 5 hectares of land.
“In India bulk of the tractors are owned by farmers in Punjab, Haryana and west UP, but with this model, even small and marginal farmers in eastern UP, Bihar and Jharkhand and Odisha would be able to cultivate their land through tractors,” Bhatnagar said.
He said the company is presently working on the price and rate at which this service is provided but it would be cheap.
“Frankly, speaking we are not looking at margins but volumes for our tractor operations,” Bhatnagar said the company’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform will simplify tractor tracking, utilization time and billing is simplified, based on time in the field and area covered.
Using the technology to their advantage, the farmers are able to plant 40 times faster at one-third the cost.
The company is looking to tie-up with original equipment makers and also people who own tractors but are willing to give them on rent or lease for a consideration.
A recent study by NABARD showed 5.2 per cent of agricultural households in India owned a tractor and just 1.8 per cent owned a power tiller.