CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute on Wednesday said it is developing a small powered electronic tractor, which will be the cheapest in Indian market at little over Rs 1 lakh.
The government-run research and development wing is targeting to conduct the first trial of the tractor within next one year at its Durgapur facility in West Bengal.
"We are working on to develop a battery operated small tractor of 10 HP power. We are looking to make a less weight product, which is efficient for farmers having smaller land parcels," CSIR-CMERI Director Harish Hirani said at a press conference here.
Currently, the product is at minimum requirement stage and the researchers are looking to have the first successful test run in the next one year, he added.
"The tractor will be equipped with a lithium battery.
We are at present looking at the strength of the battery to run a 10 HP tractor. On one full charge, the tractor will run for one hour," Hirani said.
Asked about the cost of the tractor, he informed that CSIR-CMERI is trying to develop it with a production cost of Rs 1 lakh per unit.
"However, this may not be the sale price. Usually the company, which procures the technology from us, sells it with a premium. For example, our Swaraj tractors were developed for Rs 1.35 lakh a unit, but it is sold at around RS 2 lakh," the director explained.
He said CSIR-CMERI is investing around Rs 30 lakh to develop the battery operated tractor for the Indian market.
On charging the tractors, Hirani said they are working on to make solar charging stations in farmlands for uninterrupted work by the farmers.
"We are planning to install solar panels in the field for the farmers, which will have battery charging points. With an extra battery, the agriculture work by the tractor can go on for the whole day," he added.
CSIR-CMERI is known for developing the 'Swaraj' and 'Sonalika' brand of tractors, which are sold by different companies across the country.
While 'Swaraj' is owned by Mahindra & Mahindra, 'Sonalika' is produced and marketed by International Tractors Ltd.
The research institute has developed various postharvest technologies for washing, slicing and drying of produce and have installed them in many North Eastern states.