Mahindra sees potential in PH agri lands

INDIAN multinational automobile manufacturer, Mahindra and Mahindra Limited (M&M), is expanding its presence in Cebu as it brings to the province its top-selling tractors.

Pradeep Kumar, vice president and head of international operations for automotive and farm equipment sectors at M&M, sees “good potential” in bringing Mahindra tractors to the Philippines because of the country’s vast agricultural land.

“There is a market for tractors here,” said Kumar. He noted that Mahindra tractor units are expected to arrive in Cebu in the next two to three months.

Cebu-based Gateway Motors Group is the first dedicated Mahindra Tractor dealership in the Philippines. The group also carries other passenger and commercial vehicles of Mahindra.

M&M is touted as one of the largest tractor manufacturers in the world. It produces 200,000 tractors a year, which are exported to 50 countries. The United States, one of the firm’s strongest markets, sells about 12,000 tractor units a year.

The firm reportedly sold 12,868 tractors in December 2015, up three percent year-on-year from 12,474 tractors it sold a year earlier.

Kumar said the firm has high hopes the Philippine market would be one of the strongest in Asia, on the back of the country’s efforts to boost its agriculture sector.

He, however, declined to disclose sales projection for the Philippines, as they are still assessing market acceptance but he is optimistic that the company would be able to sell significantly in Cebu in the next two to three years.

“We are quite confident our tractors would spur growth in the agriculture sector here, particularly in industries like sugarcane, corn, rice and other crops,” said Kumar.

Manoj Dalvi, deputy general manager of international operations for automotive and farm equipment sectors at M&M, said their tractors can help increase farm productivity by 20 to 25 percent.

Mahindra tractors are said to be “powerful agri-equipment tools with fuel efficient and longer-life capability.”

Modern post-harvest facilities such as tractors allow production of good-quality crops and reduces post-harvest losses.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) aims to attain farm modernization at four horsepower per hectare (HP/ha) to meet the requirements of regional integration and be at par with its ASEAN neighbors.

DA reports show that local agriculture particularly, rice, is now close to three HP/ha.

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