When I started this blog TechnoTreats, it was with expectations to discover and write about different interesting technological treats. And I have written about several different smartphones, unique gadgets and technological innovations, including smart jewelry, floor cleaning robots etc. However, I never imagined that I’d be writing about a tractor in it! But that is what I’m about to do in this post.
On 6th September, Escorts hosted its annual Innovation Platform named Esclusive. Escorts is one of India’s leading engineering conglomerates. It is known for delivering innovative agricultural solutions including tractors and farm machinery.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman and Managing Director of Escorts Ltd., Mr. Nikhil Nanda, said, “Esclusive is our annual innovation platform which showcases unique innovations and disruptions in agriculture, construction and railways segments in collaboration with global technology players. Last year we launched world’s first electric compact tractor concept and this year we have pioneered autonomous farming solution platform in association with seven strategic technology tie-ups which will transform agricultural practices for better returns to farmers. This event portrays Escorts commitment to continue to develop and launch technologies for national development and community elevation. Escorts is proud to have collaborated with Microsoft, Reliance Jio, Samvardhana Motherson Group, Bosch, Trimble, AVL, Tadano & WABCO to co-create technologies for autonomous agriculture and smart infrastructure.”
At Esclusive 2018, Escorts showcased several of their innovations and ambitious projects. The highlight among these was an Automated concept tractor that can drive itself. At the launch event, the tractor drove up on the stage without a driver and stopped when it needed to stop.
Such agricultural automation technologies in farming can greatly help in saving labor and delivering precision based farming. For example farm machines with autonomous applications, electric transmissions, remote vehicle management technology, sensor based guided farm applications, and data-based soil and crop management etc. can greatly help reducing farming costs and increasing profits.
Shared Services and Agri Solutions:
Another highlight of Esclusive 2018 was the launch of a very large scale and ambitious Shared Services and Agri Solutions with ‘Escorts Crop Solutions.’ Simply speaking, it is a large-scale initiative to help farmers easily rent the farm equipment that they cannot buy, gain more profit from the ones that they own, and provide an easier and quicker way to maintain and repair these farm equipment, including tractors. This initiative includes several different programs. These are:
This program is aimed at providing farming implements and equipment on rent. The farmer just needs to order the requirement using a smartphone app or phone number, and the equipment gets delivered to him and even personnel may be provided that can use the machine to get the required work done. The benefit of this is that even those farmers that cannot afford advanced farm machines can use them by ordering them on rent.
This is somewhat similar to the Farm Power. This is a platform that links a farmer who owns an equipment to the farmer who needs to use it. For example, a farmer owns a tractor but does not need to use it for some days. TRAXI can connect him to another farmer who needs to use the tractor. So, the owner of machine makes an extra income and the borrower of those machines get to use them without buying them. This should prove helpful to small and marginal farmers that cannot afford to buy expensive tractors and other farm machines.
This is aimed at providing quicker repair of agricultural machines. This platform establishes a sort of support center. When this center receives a breakdown intimation, a personnel is dispatched to check the machine. In case some machine part is needed for the repair, it is ordered at the vendor or the distributor. By connecting repair men, machine parts vendors and distributors, Smart Parts aims to provide repair of agricultural machinery within 48 hours.
This is a front-end farmer interface for relevant agri inputs and customized agri information relevant to help the farmers reduce their farming cost and increase profit..
To deliver all this, Escorts has partnered with various technological giants like Microsoft, Reliance Jio, Trimble, Samvardhana Motherson Group, WABCO, AVL & BOSCH. Together, all these aim at developing products, services and infrastructure to help even the smallest farmer get more out of his farm.
All these ideas sound very impressive and grand in scale. However, their success largely depends upon proper and efficient implementation and their ease of use. Unless a small and poor farmer can understand and take advantage of these initiative, their aim of ushering a bright future of Indian agriculture will remain hard to achieve.