Gujarat signs PPP with John Deere on farm mechanization

Gujarat signs PPP with John Deere on farm mechanization
Gandhinagar, 21 January, 2011

In its efforts to extend the benefits of farm mechanization to marginalized tribal farmers in the State, Shri Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Government of Gujarat today inaugurated a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with US farm equipment major John Deere (Deere & Company NYSE: DE). An estimated 50,400 marginal farmer families and 50,400 acres of land will be positively impacted as a result of the PPP signed under the aegis of the Chief Minister’s Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana (10- point programme for tribal welfare).

John Deere, as part of this 5-year long PPP, would open 84 Agriculture Implement Resource Centers across Gujarat. A total of 529 John Deere tractors, each with a set of 13 implements, a trained operator and maintenance staff, would be deployed across these centres in two phases for the benefit of marginalized tribal farmers within the state. The farmer groups who use these tractors and implements to facilitate crop cultivation will only have to bear the operating and maintenance costs of the equipment used and not pay for the tractors and implements themselves.

Speaking to reporters at the launch of the PPP, the Hon. Chief Minister, Narendra Modi said: “Over the past decade, Gujarat has registered phenomenal growth. This has not only been in overall GDP growth terms, where we have registered double digit growth, but also in all our key sectors. Industry has grown at 13% during this period; agriculture has grown at 9.6% over the past 7 years; and the per capita income of our people at 13.8%. We are continually evaluating programmes and initiatives that will not only help us maintain this pace of growth but improve things further. The current PPP – the first of its kind in the agriculture sector nationwide – is a shining example of such a programme that will help empower and provide economic wealth to our marginalized farmers and tribal brethren”.

To ensure technical skill development and further employment generation in the State, John Deere would train one thousand local youth as tractor operators and another 500 as mechanics as an integral part of the programme.

Four local NGOs, Sadguru Foundation, ANaRDe Foundation, Shroffs Foundation and JNPCT, have been entrusted with the task of creating self help groups that cover at least 100 acres of farm land each and in ensuring early adoption of this programme.

“In Gujarat, we have seen many policy initiatives in recent years to improve agriculture. There have been significant efforts to facilitate farm mechanization in the State,” said Samuel R. Allen, chairman and chief executive officer. “Initiatives have addressed improved market access, contract farming, improved agriculture knowledge extension services, encouraging water conservation and use of micro irrigation and making available quality electricity supply. John Deere supports participation in such developmental projects that allow for generating farmer prosperity contributing to a higher quality of life”.

Through the PPP, the Government not only aims to train farmers on the productive use of tractors and farm implements but also help develop additional skills in soil testing and micro-irrigation, amongst others skills.

Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land – those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity.

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