J B Penn, Chief Economist at Deere & Co shares his views about India position in the global agriculture market and the growth of John Deere in India in an exclusive interaction with IBEF. Edited excerpts:
John Deere has been operating in the Indian market for a long time now. How has been the growth of the company in the Indian market?
We have been committed to this market for some time and we have been changing our portfolio so that our products are specifically suited for the different kind of farming that takes place in the different regions of the country. We have a programme called Deep Customer Understanding in which we try to understand how farmers in one part of India produce rice and how farmers in another part of India produce rice and very often it is very different. We are committed to learning more about this market and providing the products and technology which is needed by the Indian farmers. It is very clear that in order to feed the growing population India’s agriculture has to grow much faster as what it has grown in the past and we want to be a contributor to the net productivity growth in India.
What are your views on the growth of India in the agriculture industry?
India is very important being the second most populous country. It also has a vast agricultural resource and India will have to make a very important contribution to feed the world. We are seeing population centres grow as the global population is urbanising with the population being in big consumption centres and at the same time, there are some areas in the world that have surplus food produce that are supplying to those consumption centres. India will have to play a bigger role in this picture as we move forward.
How important is India with respect to John Deere’s global operations?
India is very important to Deere’s global operations. All our engineering for small and mid-sized tractors is done in India. We are the largest tractor exporter from India exporting products to over 69 different countries. While it is very important to supply products to the Indian market, India is equally important to us for our global operations. We hope to export our products to markets like Africa and other important markets.
How important is India for the global agriculture industry?
Going forward India will be more connected to the global agriculture industry. It will increase its exports and at the same time, the import of products will go up because the consumer will demand more diversity and different options. We are very positive about India and we see India as one of the most promising market for growth.