TAFE offers free tractor rental for small farmers of Uttar Pradesh during COVID-19
TAFE cultivates 160,000 acres free for small farmers during COVID-19
TAFE is the world’s third largest tractor manufacturer and second largest in India by volumes with an annual sale of about 150,000 tractors; TAFE is one of the leading exporters of tractors from India with a turnover in excess of INR 93 billion. TAFE manufactures a range of tractors, in both, the air-cooled and water-cooled platforms, and markets them under its four iconic brands – Massey Ferguson, TAFE, Eicher, and the recently acquired Serbian tractor and agricultural equipment brand – Industrija Mašinai Traktora (IMT). Acclaimed for its quality and dependability, TAFE’s products and services are present in over 100 countries across the world, including developed countries in Europe and the Americas.
TAFE established JFarm India in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, in 1964 with the objective of empowering farmers with advanced farm technologies to increase farm productivity and meet India’s growing food demands. Over the years, JFarm focuses on sustainable agriculture, adapting existing technologies in farming for local farming conditions and sharing this knowledge with farmers. JFarm Services is an initiative by TAFE to increase easy access to farm mechanization solutions through rental of tractors and farm equipment for small and large farms, latest mandi prices, agri-news alerts and advisory.
TAFE launched the JFarm Services free tractor rental scheme with 18,000 Massey Ferguson and Eicher Tractor customers, and about 75,000 farm implement owners, to offer implements like the cultivator, rotary tiller, duck-foot cultivator, disc plough, disc harrow, mould board plough, thresher and several others. TAFE successfully implemented this free tractor rental scheme for the small and marginal farmers with the administrative support of the respective state governments from the Agriculture Departments of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
This CSR initiative by TAFE aimed to rescue the farming community from the economic implications of COVID-19, and mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus threat on farming operations of small and marginal farmers during the critical Rabi harvest and Kharif preparation season.
COVID-19 proved to be a challenge for the entire economy. However the challenges faced by the economy for brands and their communication strategies suffered differently. Few major challenges included:
- Media houses were laying off or shutting their issues or offices
- Work from home challenges
- To approach the right media persons was getting difficult as major lay-offs took place in most media houses
- Media largely reported on pandemic and crisis related to it, with limited spaces in the print publications
- Pages and Supplements discontinued, space barriers were faced by media
- To organize the communication strategy for the brand and instead of investing in an on-ground activation diverted the attention on CSR activity.
- Created a CSR Campaign which worked well for the helpless farmers and gave them an opportunity to protect their crop and earn their living
- PR tool used to give the desired result- Press Release dissemination
- This strategy was made keeping in mind the need of the farmers and their lack of capacity to fulfill the need
The campaign was well received by the media. The campaign overall worked well for the farmers as it helped them save their crop and earn their living.
- Loss of one cropping season could have also impacted the economy at certain point, but that was managed, in time through this initiative
- The news via press release was carried in almost all regional CAT A newspapers and wires
- The campaign helped us in overcoming the media challenges faced majorly during COVID
- Brand was able to create a lasting impact over farmers to become their preferred brand in long-term