Ahmedabad: In a first of its kind public private partnership project (PPP),US-headquartered tractor and farm equipment manufacturing firm Deere & Co. and Gujarat government on Friday announced a scheme specially aimed to increase farm productivity of the marginalized tribal farmers of the state.
“Under the five year long project the state government will buy from us 529 tractors each with a set of 13 farm equipments. These equipments will be provided to self help groups consisting of over 50,000 tribal farmers,”Samuel Allen, chairman and chief executive officer of Deere & Co. which sells tractors under the brand name of John Deere in the global market including India.
Farmers will only have to bear the operating and maintenance costs of the equipment used and not pay for the tractors and equipments themselves.
“Deere & Co will train and provide support to the farmers. For this the firm would open 84 Agriculture Implement Resource Centers (AIRC) across Gujarat and provide a trained operator and maintenance staff in these centres,” said Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
At the end of the five-year project, ownership of these tractors and equipments will be transferred to farmers for free. Modi said the total project cost is around Rs125 crore of which Rs25 crore will be invested by Deere & Co for opening up resource centres and for training and maintaining staff at these centres.
“The project will be implemented in two phases. In the first phase the state would provide 50 tractors along with the equipment sets within the next four months. In the second phase 450 tractors will be made available.
According to Allen and Modi, this is first of its kind project in India specially aimed at increasing farm productivity of tribal farmers and if this PPP model succeeds then it will be replicated by Deere & Co in other developing countries.