Tractors, often with attached trolleys, are in most parts of India increasingly replacing other modes of rural transport of agricultural produce to primary markets. It is estimated that around 65% of farm produce arriving in primary markets is accounted for by Tractor Trolleys. Tractors are a highly vulnerable mode of transport and source wise and severity wise farm machinery accident data collected during a Survey of 7 States of India has established that the highest number of such accidents involved tractor and tractor operated implements. Among the total fatalities attributed to farm machinery accidents, tractors and tractor trolleys accounted for 44%, according to the same Study.
Poor visibility or lack of visibility, due to unfavourable weather conditions or travel during the dark hours, is a major cause of tractor accidents. With its long history of providing conspicuity to over 2,00,000 bicycles and bicycles users, another highly vulnerable road user segment, IRF India through this unique collaborative venture with Indian Potash Limited, a leading fertilizer corporate in the country, has now taken a small but significantly path breaking step towards covering the vast unprotected population of tractor trolleys operating in the rural area.
This initiative, undertaken with the generous CSR fund support of Indian Potash Limited, has enabled IRF to cover 2,000 tractor trolleys of cane farmers in 6 IPL owned sugar units in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh with high quality 3M retro-reflective tapes. The colour and placement specifications of tapes were worked out in an earlier rigorous exercise by IRF India in consultation with the Bureau of Indian Standards, which sets the standards for the use of retro-reflective tapes of India’s Automobile industry. A dedicated Team of 5 applicators, supervised by an IRF representative, completed the exercise of affixing retro-reflective tapes on tractor trolleys in a record time in the 6 targeted units.
On successful completion of the application, IRF India issued Certificates of Installation to farmers on whose tractor trolleys the tapes were affixed.
The Project, initiated at the beginning of January 2018 during the peak cane procurement season, had farmers vying for the tape to be affixed on their own tractor trolleys.
The six units covered have a total processing capacity of around 22,000 tonnes of sugarcane crushing per day. IRF India has plans to take this initiative forward in a Mission mode, with the support of other stakeholders of the rural farm sector, to cover the large tractor population of the country’s vast rural hinterland.