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CSIR-CMERI Unveils Affordable Compact Tractor for Small and Marginal Farmers

New Delhi: In a significant breakthrough for India’s agriculture sector, the CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CMERI) has developed a compact, affordable, and easily maneuverable tractor designed specifically for small and marginal farmers. This innovative tractor promises to increase agricultural productivity while keeping costs low, offering a much-needed solution to over 80% of India’s cultivators who face challenges with traditional farming methods.

Small and marginal farmers, who often rely on bullock-driven farming, struggle with high operational and maintenance costs and poor returns. While power tillers have started to replace bullock-driven ploughs, they remain cumbersome to operate, and conventional tractors are often unaffordable and unsuitable for their needs.

Addressing these challenges, CSIR-CMERI, with support from the SEED Division of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), has developed a low-horsepower tractor tailored to the requirements of small-scale farmers. This tractor, equipped with a 9 hp diesel engine, offers 8 forward and 2 reverse speeds, and features a PTO with 6 splines at 540 rpm. Weighing approximately 450 kg, it boasts a front and rear wheel size of 4.5-10 and 6-16, respectively. Its wheelbase, ground clearance, and turning radius are 1200 mm, 255 mm, and 1.75 m, respectively, making it highly maneuverable in small fields.

The tractor has the potential to revolutionize farming for small and marginal farmers by significantly reducing the time required for farming tasks from several days to just a few hours. Additionally, it lowers capital and maintenance costs, providing a cost-effective alternative to traditional bullock-driven ploughs.

CSIR-CMERI has promoted this technology among several existing Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and is working to create new SHGs dedicated to this innovation. The institute is also in discussions to license the technology to local companies for large-scale manufacturing, ensuring that the benefits reach farmers across the country.

The technology was recently demonstrated in nearby villages and to various manufacturers. A Ranchi-based MSME has shown keen interest in manufacturing the compact tractor and plans to set up a plant for its mass production. This MSME intends to supply the developed tractors to farmers through various state government tenders at subsidized rates, making them more accessible to those in need.

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