A ₹3 crore silage-making harvester became the cynosure of all eyes during the first day of Kisan Mela held at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Friday.
Air-conditioned tractors costing ₹15. 5 lakh drew the attention of young farmers. However, among the biggest crowd pullers were stalls dealing in tractor accessories similar to which slain Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala used on his iconic HMT 5911 tractor.
Out of the 350 official stalls at the mela ground, tractor companies booked space for over 50 stalls, said director, extension, PAU, Ashok Kumar.
Davinder Singh, a representative of the company, said the first such silage-making machine, which is on display, has been purchased by the Punjab government.
“We are surprised by the keen interest shown by farmers in such an expensive machine. It is largely due to the fact that the silage industry has grown manifolds in the state, especially due to its huge demands in the cattle feed industry,” said Davinder Singh.
At another stall, Harjinder Singh, a farmer from Moga, was asking about the price of an air-conditioned tractor. He said, “With changing lifestyle, the approach towards farming has also changed. A majority of the houses, even in rural areas, are equipped with ACs. So, opting for an AC tractor appears to be a viable option as it saves from dust and heat, which improves efficiency. I am using one such tractor and happy with its performance,” he said.
A few meters away, farmers were busy buying tractor accessories, including LED lights, projector lamps and a chain steering wheel. One of the accessory dealers Gurpreet Singh of Talwani Bhai village in Moga, who modifies tractors, said that earlier only a handful of youth used tractor accessories, but Moose Wala had given a major push to the tractor accessories industry by modifying his HMT 5911 tractor. “Besides affluent farmers, a majority of our customers are NRIs, who visit once a year and wish to equip their old tractors with the latest engine modification and beautify them with LED lights, chain steering wheels and speakers,” he added.
It was after 2019 that the Kisan Mela was organised in the university. Due to the spread of Covid, the university had organised virtual Kisan Melas in 2020 and 2021.