Evolution Of Tractors In India And Beyond

Evolution Of Tractors In India And Beyond

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Tractors are the iconic symbol of agriculture in India. It has an enriched Indian farming history since independence.

The development of tractors has happened due to innovation and the keen competition that the tractor companies face in India.

This article will discuss the development of tractors and farm machinery in India during the last 75 years.

Tractors Of British India

The British government imported the first tractors in 1914 to clear bushes and shrubs from forest areas. 

While these imported tractors were mainly used in governmental operations, they were also made available for hire to landowners that could afford them. 

By 1930, something amazing happened. At the same time, the use remained limited to farming. An indigenous industry of manufacturing tractor spare parts and engines emerged in India.

The Emergence Of Tractors Post Independence 

After India gained independence in 1947, the Indian government emphasized reforming the agricultural sector to pave the way towards food security. 

As a result, more land was brought under farming, and more tractors were imported to throttle the progress. 

These tractors were rigorously studied by Indian manufacturers, already well-versed in producing tractor parts and engines and modified to suit Indian conditions.

In 1961, Indian manufacturers began bringing out the first Indian-made tractors. 

Major tractor manufacturers like Eicher Motors, TAFE Ltd., Escorts Tractors Ltd and Mahindra unveiled powerful tractors like Swaraj 744 xt.

This tractor revolution in the Indian agriculture sector shot up the sale of tractors in the domestic market. 

In the 1970s, the Indian government banned tractor imports and focused on promoting more indigenous models. 

Indian companies, in collaboration with other brands, began producing most of the tractors used in India. 

Escorts were among the bestseller at that time. Tractor production continued to rise. 

The era of 1980 saw a remarkable jump, and India began exporting Made In India tractors to other countries!!


Tractors In The Era of Green Revolution and Economic Liberalisation 

The era of the Green Revolution saw a major boost in tractors sale. 

The Indian government set up corporations at national and state levels to offer farmers subsidies and other assistance.

Farmers were offered 25% to 33% subsidies to purchase Made In India tractors. As a result, Sonalika 35 Price got down and became affordable. Public banks also took the initiative and have been offering tractor loans. 

By 1990, the annual production of tractors in India was 140,000, growing to over 2 million in 1997. 

Following economic liberalization, more players like Bajaj and Sonalika entered the tractor industry. 

Mahindra & Mahindra overtook Escorts Tractors Ltd. and TAFE Ltd. to become India’s foremost manufacturer of tractors!!

Tractor Industry In India: Post 2000s 

India holds the pole position in tractor manufacturing—the annual production of about a million tractors in FY21, almost half of the global volume. And 2022 saw a remarkable growth of around 769.2 billion rupees.

Indian tractors are also exported to other countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and America.

Modern Indian farmers have become more aware of the benefits of mechanization and the role of the tractor in reducing farm labour drudgery.

Government funding and subsidies and nearly 95% credit from commercial banks and other financial institutions have made it possible for farmers with small-sized and to purchase tractors. 

The Future Prospects Of Tractors In India

The Indian tractor market is expected to reach $12,700.8 million by 2030.

Future tractors will use different fuel types and innovative technology: reducing emissions and precision farming.

Savvy farmers now know the importance of automation in agriculture. 

Traditional farming equipment needs a technological boost now more than ever to meet the agricultural needs of the growing population. 

Current Manufacturers of Tractors in India

John Deere 

John Deere Tractors manufacture different tractor models ranging from 35 hp to 89hp. It is also one of the leading tractor exporters in India.

Gujarat Tractors Limited

Gujarat Tractors, founded in 1959, is now called Mahindra Gujarat Tractors Limited Company. The company manufactures 30-60 hp tractors.

New Holland Agriculture

New Holland Agriculture produces different tractor models and has a good global presence. The company started its venture in 1996 and has grown over time.


Sonalika Tractors came into being when the tie-up of ILT with Renault Agriculture. At present, it manufactures 18HP to 120HP models of tractors.


In the initial period, Escort Group manufactured the Ford tractors in 1971. Ford quit the business in 1992, but the name was used until 2000. Escorts currently manufacture tractors ranging from 8 to 75 HP.


Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited (TAFE) was established to market Massey Ferguson’s tractors in India in 1961. Currently, the tractors are sold in India and abroad under the brand names TAFE and Massey Ferguson. 


Set up in India in 1949, Eicher is the pioneer of a fully integrated tractor in India. The tractors have been available to the public since 1987. Eicher Motors sold the tractors business to TAFE in 2005.

Winding Up

Tractors are vital for India, where most people depend upon agriculture

Tractors have played a key role in the country’s development and will continue to enjoy a place of pride as India cements its position as a global power.


John Smith

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