ISLAMABAD                 -               Tractors manufacturers in Pakistan have been operating at less than 50 of their combined capacity due to sluggish demand even before the Covid-19 pandemic which has further damaged the industry.

The industry sold 23506 tractors during nine months (July to March) of the current fiscal year as compared to the previous period of last year. Sale of tractors stood at 50405 in entire previous fiscal year. Local tractors industry, amid all its efforts to modernize agriculture and promote farm mechanization, has been going through its worst ever period in terms of sales and production for the last few years.

Tractors industry has expressed surprise at the claim made by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) in its budget proposal that local tractors have low quality and high prices. “The fact is that Pakistan produces high quality agricultural tractors with a variety of working capacity in technical collaboration with renowned foreign manufacturers including New Holland Tractors and Messey Ferguson, and these tractors are by far the most economical compared to the rest of the world,” said CEO AlGhazi Tractors Limited, Mohammad Shahid Hussain.

“The local tractors industry is the premier industry of the country by all counts. It has achieved 95% localization which is why they are among the cheapest in the world, even cheaper than China, by a big margin,” he said, adding that Pakistan is exporting tractors and its parts to Europe and Africa now, which is also a testament to their quality and competitiveness in the global market. However, he agreed with the FPCCI that there is a lot of room for improvement in the agriculture sector by promoting farm mechanization and spreading awareness about best practices in agriculture in the farmer fraternity.

“Tractor is a vital machine for the farmers and Pakistani tractors have proved their reliability as even 20-25 years old models are still operating in fields and this is because there is no dearth of spare parts of these tractors and excellent after sales service provided by the manufacturers throughout Pakistan,” said Shahid.  “Due to high localization, the tractors hardly use any foreign exchange and over 350 vendors were supplying parts to the industry employing over 10,000 skilled and unskilled workforce,” he added.

In a continuously worsening situation, the vendor industry is about to collapse, owing to either no or extremely low ordering levels from the tractor industry.