Japanese firm Yanmar forms JT venture with Ropali

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 20 2015 07:40 AM | Updated as of Mar 20 2015 03:40 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Japanese agricultural and construction equipment maker Yanmar Co. Ltd. has formed a joint venture with local firm Ropali Corp. to sell agricultural machinery for rice farmers with the aim of cornering at least 30 percent of the market by 2018.

Naoki Kobayashi, managing director for agricultural operations business at Yanmar Co. Ltd., said in a press conference the firm decided to form the joint venture Yanmar Philippines Corp. given opportunities here as the country is among the biggest producers of rice in the world.

“Our objective to establish Yanmar Philippines Corp. is not just to improve farmers’ income, but also the sustainability of the Philippine agriculture sector. The Philippines is the eighth biggest producer of rice in the world, but it also relies on importing from other countries. By establishing the joint venture with Ropali, I think we can contribute to the agriculture sector,” he said.

For his part, Ropali Corp. president and chief executive officer Roberto Alingog said the partnership is not only expected to increase farmers’ incomes, but also the country’s rice supply.

“This will be a transformation very much like what happened in the 1970s but now attended by the higher levels of technology and comfort for the farmer. Higher yield too is expected with the use of the Yanmar tractors, transplanters and rice combine harvesters,” he said.

The joint venture, which has an invested capital worth P120 million with 60 percent accounted for by Yanmar Corp. and the balance coming from Ropali, would engage in the import, sale and service of various types of agricultural machinery.

Yanmar Philippines Corp. president Hideaki Ikezawa said the target is to achieve sales worth 6.5 billion yen by 2018.

“The earlier we achieve that target would be better,” he said.

Yasuji Arima, executive officer and divisional manager for overseas business promotion division at Yanmar Co. Ltd. said the 6.5 billion yen worth of sales would translate to about 30- to 40-percent market share for the firm.

While the firm would want to manufacture its products here, he said much would depend on the sales volume.

“If sales volume get very big, of course, we wish (to manufacture products here),” he said.

In the future, Kobayashi said the joint venture may expand its business to vegetables and fruit production.

Yanmar Group, which is engaged in business domains: agriculture; marine; power generation and air conditioning; construction; and industrial engine, has 66 companies worldwide.

Apart from the Philippines, it has presence in Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia in Southeast Asia.

The Ropali Group, meanwhile, is engaged in banking, sales and distribution of agri-machineries and motorcycles, manufacturing as well as real estate.

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