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. These include Tumkuru, Bengaluru urban, Bengaluru rural, Mandya, Chikkaballapura, Dakshina Kannada, Belagavi and Udupi. The state has allocated Rs 40 crore to give farmers access to farm machinery on a rental basis with a 75 per cent subsidy to set up the CHSCs.
According to BCS Iyengar, director, corporate strategy, VST Tillers & Tractors, the scheme which is the brain child of Karnataka agriculture minister Krishna Byregowda will be a boon to small farmers and will revolutionise farm mechanisation in Karnataka.
During 2014-15 the state government gave 75 per cent subsidy to societies and NGOs 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 organisations and farm machinery manufacturers. Each centre will require around Rs 50 lakh investment including 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.
“The company’s novel scheme can be scaled up to the entire state and also the country as it needs effective planning, based on farming needs locally,” he stated.
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, these can be given at affordable rental rates, according to him.
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.
The VST range includes rice transplanters and self propelled reapers. The company has vast experience in farm mechanisation programmes and has successful associations in Kerala, Odisha and Maharashtra in promoting custom hire solution to farmers.
The machinery available for rent will include not just the VST farm equipment but also those from other companies to offer the farmers access to combined harvester, large tractors, crushers and so on.
Credits FNB News