Nizamabad: Necessity, they say, is the mother of all inventions. And so it was in the case of Potkuri Mahesh, a young farmer from Ergatla mandal in Nizamabad district, who put together a simple device to dispense fertilisers on standing crops.
Generally considered a laborious task that involves constant bending at each plant, adding fertilisers to crops has been made easy by Mahesh, who has come up with what he calls ‘Fertilizer Gun’. In these days of the coronavirus pandemic, there is a major labour shortage in the district, and dispensing fertilisers, particularly for maize, is a labour-intensive exercise and expensive too.
“Most of the farming activities nowadays are mechanised, but there are some jobs like dispensing fertilisers which still is being done manually since it has to be added at the root of the crop. Following the coronavirus scare and the subsequent lockdown, the labour demand is high and so are their wages. Most farmers in the district are facing problems since maize crop needs fertilisers to be added at least thrice, and each time it costs Rs 800 per acre towards labour,” Mahesh said.
Mahesh, who is a dropout after completing his school final, is just 21-years-old but has a sharp mind that is constantly looking for simple solutions to seemingly difficult tasks. For the ‘fertilizer gun’, he only used locally available material that included PVC plastic bags, PVC pipes, dummy caps, iron clips and some solvent gum to put together his device, totally costing just Rs 320!
Mahesh says the device is adjustable based on crop area and requirement of fertiliser. He has used it on his maize crop successfully, much to the amazement of farmers in adjacent fields. “Several other farmers have asked me to make the fertilizer gun for them also, and I intend to take it up,” says the young farmer, who already has a “Monkey Gun” also to his credit.
The monkey gun is used to scare away, obviously, monkeys besides wild hogs and birds from agriculture fields. “Several farmers have bought the monkey gun, again put together with locally available material, at Rs 500 a piece. They have found it very useful,” he said.
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