The Hayleys Group has extended its involvement in supporting farm mechanisation in Sri Lanka by adding four-wheel utility tractors to its already extensive product offering, in partnership with India’s largest tractor manufacturer.
A milestone partnership announced this week between Hayleys Agro Products Limited (HAPL) and Escorts India paves the way for the former to market the globally-renowned Farmtrac range of tractors in Sri Lanka, offering farmers a unique proposition in product and service.
Two Farmtrac models unveiled in Sri Lanka initially will carry a three-year warranty, the only one of that duration in the market, and will be fitted with Advanced Direct Injection (ADI) engines that deliver improved fuel economy and greater durability, HAPL dealers were told at a launch at the Ceylon Continental Hotel in Colombo.
Farmtrac is the premium range of tractors manufactured by Escorts, the company that in association with the Ford Motor Co. introduced the tractor to India in 1944. Today, Escorts owns Asia’s largest manufacturing facility at a single location, has a manufacturing capacity that is expandable to 100,000 machines a year, and exports tractors to 54 countries.
Addressing the launch, Hayleys Group Chairman Mohan Pandithage said the event symbolised the beginning of an important partnership in the history of agri-equipment in Sri Lanka. “The strengths of the Escorts Group, particularly in engineering are well known,” he said. “Hayleys will add substantial value to the partnership through its experience and wide engagement in the agriculture sector of Sri Lanka. We are convinced that the superior technology and quality of Farmtrac will bring significant benefits to the farmers of our country.”
Hayleys Group Director Rizvi Zaheed pledged that the combined strengths of Hayleys and Escorts India would be leveraged to make Farmtrac a household name in Sri Lanka. He said Hayleys would also facilitate purchase by working with reputed leasing institutions to help farmers.
Sachin Parab Vice President – International Business for the Agri Machinery Group of Escorts Limited, disclosed that more than a million tractors have rolled out of Escorts plants to date, and that the company had recently set a new benchmark by winning the Indian tractor industry’s largest ever order for tractors. Valued at US $ 40 million the order for 1430 Farmtrac tractors had been awarded to Escorts by the Government of Tanzania.
He said Escorts was the first tractor manufacturer in the world to receive the stringent ISO/TS16949 international quality management system certification that provides for continual improvement, emphasising defect prevention and the reduction of variation and waste in the design, development, production and, when relevant, installation and servicing of automotive-related products.
One of India’s leading engineering conglomerates, the Escorts Group operates in the high growth sectors of agri-machinery, construction & material handling equipment, railway equipment and auto components. Having pioneered farm mechanisation in India, Escorts has played a pivotal role in the country’s agricultural growth for over five decades. HAPL and other agriculture sector companies of the Hayleys Group represent a commercial and social involvement in virtually every stage of the life cycle of agro produce from producing seeds to supporting the export of processed vegetable and fruit, giving the Group an unique profile in Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector.
Products ranging from crop protection chemicals — insecticides, fungicides and weedicides — to vegetable seeds, seed paddy and seed potatoes, fertiliser, agri equipment including sprayers, tractors, combine harvesters and threshers; micro irrigation systems and animal health products including antibiotics, biologicals, feed additives and veterinary pharmaceuticals are marketed under a one-stop concept. The Group’s products are widely available in over 90 per cent of agricultural outlets in the country.