Rajanna-Sircilla: Farm mechanisation is the mantra for increased productivity in the agriculture sector now. But there is one area of agriculture activity that is still dependent on manual labour and the plough, particularly in cotton fields — weeding.
And with the sector facing acute shortage of labour with the launch of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, it has become a challenge of sorts for cotton farmers to deal with this part the activity, which has to be done at least four times before the crops are harvested. Needless to say, it also causes a hefty dent in the farmers’ pockets that adds up to the production costs.
However, a solution to this may soon be available if the innovative ingenuity of a 55-year-old mechanic from Rajanna-Sircilla district who has designed a power tilller for the task works out well. It certainly has caught the attention of IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao who tweeted on Wedensday stating: “Loved this idea of a power tiller by a rural innovator from Yellareddypet mandal in Sircilla district.” The Minister went on to request the Tworks team to work on the idea and hold a demonstration for Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy.
Ragi Kishan, a native of Boppapur, a tiny village in Yellareddypet mandal, has put together a power tiller that may well solve the problem of manual weeding. Kishan is a popular motor mechanic in Yellareddypet and surrounding areas, and he has been running a workshop at Gollapalli for the past 35 years. He is considered an expert in motorcycles, jeeps, vans, school buses, millers, JCBs, harvesters and other vehicles.
Kishan, moved by the plight of farmers, decided to help them and within a month, designed a power tiller at a cost of Rs 45,000.
Speaking to Telangana Today, Kishan said the power tiller, two feet wide and six feet long, can move easily between cotton plants because of the distance between rows. It removes weed with the help of three ploughs and a blade fixed to it. “It is possible to remove weeds in one acre within two hours and it requires just three litres of diesel,” he said, adding that since the tiller has dual facility of KG wheels and tyres, it can also move on roads like any other vehicle.
Explaining the functioning, Kishan said in the field, the tyres have to be removed and replaced with KG wheels to start clearing the weeds. “I used a second hand engine for my prototype. The cost would go up by another Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 if new engines are used,” he said.
Kishan is also planning to upgrade the power tiller by fixing rotavator as well as sprinklers to spray pesticides that would make it a multi-utility gadget.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.