Local makers flex muscles
Agriculture equipment manufacturers are helping the country's farmers mechanise and increase crop production by way of supplying quality machinery at lower prices.
They can make 40 to 45 varieties of agriculture equipment, enough to supply 99 percent of the machinery needed for farmers, manufacturers say.
“The sales of machinery are on the rise as awareness among the farmers is rising,” said Sheikh Sadi, managing director of Agro Machinery Industry (AMI) Ltd.
“Agriculture equipment manufacturers are indirectly helping the country ensure food security and higher production as well as mechanisation from traditional cultivation,” he told The Daily Star.
Sadi's company took part in the National Industrial Fair organised by the industries ministry at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka.
About 250 companies are participating at the weeklong fair, which kicked off on Sunday.
Sadi started making agriculture equipment in 2015 with a small capital in Darshana, Chuadanga. He now has 26 employs and Agro Machinery's annual earnings stood at around Tk 6 crore last year.
“The sales of machinery are on the rise as awareness among the farmers is rising,” he said, adding that the government is providing up to 50 percent subsidies on the price of equipment to encourage farmers to embrace mechanised farming.
Sadi gave the credit to his technicians who despite having no academic background are developing quality products and producing new items based on their own idea. Md Ole Ullah, managing director of Janata Industries, said the government has given priority to the agriculture equipment industry to promote local manufacturers and mechanise the agriculture sector in order to achieve higher growth.
“We are improving the quality of our equipment day by day,” he said, adding that mechanisation is helping the agriculture sector produce more and reduce production cost. According to the USAID, 11 lakh farmers applied new technologies to their farms in 2018.
Badrul Alam Bhuiyan, production engineer of Jamil Engineering Ltd, said farmers are yet to know about the utility of agriculture equipment.
The firm makes 29 types of agriculture equipment with prices ranging from Tk 3,000 to Tk 1.65 lakh. Jamil Engineering began producing agriculture equipment in 2007 and its earnings reached Tk 7 crore in 2018.