Mumbai: The State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest public sector lender, on Monday said it has signed an agreement with Escorts Ltd to finance farmers for purchase of Escorts tractors.

The aim of the tie-up with Escorts is to promote, market and make accessible organized finance facility, with superior features and at competitive interest rates, to farmers across the country who wish purchase Powertrac and Farmtrac tractors manufactured by Escorts, a statement issued said.

Farm mechanization is essential for sustaining agricultural growth, especially in the context of diminishing agricultural labour. However, large communities of small and marginal farmers are still not in a position to take full benefit of farm mechanization because of lack of awareness, low availability of finance, fragmented land holding etc.

“As a result of our tie-up with Escorts, a large number of small and marginal farmers will have access to necessary finance for the purchase of heavy duty tractors. SBI has an extensive network that allows us to reach rural borrowers across the country," SBI chief general manager, agri business unit, S. Adikesavan, said.

Escorts is a leading tractor and construction equipment manufacturer in Haryana. Subsequent collaboration with Ford, UK has placed Escorts among the leading manufacturers of tractors in India. The company has a production capacity of more than one lakh tractors annually and a wide distribution network of over 650 dealers.