Rural Innovators from Khammam

Rural Innovators from Khammam

Posted by P. Charitha on September 16th 2016

#Rural Innovation # Agriculture # Farming

In India the agricultural sector is the largest employer in India's economy, but contributes to a declining share of its GDP. India ranks second worldwide in farm output but the economic contribution of agriculture to India's GDP is steadily declining (17% in 2013-14 Wikipedia) vis-á-vis the country's broad-based economic growth. Being an agrarian economy there are many rural communities that still rely on agriculture as a means of livelihood but are facing increasingly complex challenges like decreased rainfall, declining workforce, seed & fertiliser shortage, expensive farm equipment, high - interest loans etc. However, on the brighter side there are social entrepreneurs who are pioneering solutions to overcome these challenges.

There has been a steep increase in renting tractors to till the fields& farm hands are expensive and hard to find. The traditional pesticide spraying machines are heavy and hurt the shoulders and have to be filled multiple times to spray over the huge farms. Two young farmers from the district of Khammam, Telangana have overcome these limitations which they faced and have created an innovative method of ploughing the fields using a scooter engine and a light weight machine for spraying pesticides just using a plastic dispenser and a battery!

Scooter Engine Plough

Scooter  Engine Plough
Image Credit ETV AP

Raj Kumar a young farmer from a small village called Poosapally in Khammam district who worked in his farm along with his brothers had a tough time finding farm hands and tractors during the peak season, as it was always an expensive option.
Necessity being the mother of invention fuelled Raj Kumar who also worked as a part time motor winding works mechanic, to apply his ingenuity to create a plough to help him till through the cotton crops. Using this knowledge he earlier had created a fan using his own scooter engine and with that same process he customised the same engine to create a small plough which could run through the cotton crops.

Machine- Scooter Engine + Plough
Cost-Welding& fitting - Rs 5,000

Benefits: Tilling through the farm in one week which could have normally taken one month using manual labour & tractor costing more than Rs.15,000. Time, Cost& Manpower Saved.
The machine uses Rs. 500 for petrol and it lasts for a whole week and the best part is once the tilling is done he can dismantle the machine & engine and use the scooter again.
Several farmers across the district have been impressed and are planning to replicate the same process to cut costs.

 

Bubble can Pesticide Sprayer

Bubble  can Pesticide Sprayer
Image Credit ETV AP

Another young farmer Vasanth from the village of Komararam in Khammam district was moved by the plight of his father who would carry a 15kg sprayer with a handle & every time he had to press the handle the weight would hurt the shoulders and also the can had to be re-filled number of times every time . This got him to create a can which was light weight, easy on the back and removed the need of using a handle to spray .His co farmers have already started using it in their farms and are very happy using it.

Machine - Mineral Water can + car viper motor + Battery to charge the motor + Belts+ Switch to spray
Cost- Rs 1500

Benefits: Can be used for 6 hours, saves time, less burden on the shoulders & back and a happy farmer.
There are many rural innovators in our country who are finding alternate methods of farming to reduce costs ,but the only issue would be as to who would support them in bringing these innovations to the forefront for the benefit of the other farmers spread across India. Raj Kumar & Vasanth’s innovations clearly teach us a lesson of dedication, hard work and self-reliance. We need more such change makers & organizations to bring their innovations and ensure that they are customised and manufactured to shape the future course of Indian farming.

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