Over a decade ago, Raghav Gowda, a primary school teacher-cum-farmer in the Dakshin Kannada district of Karnataka, wanted to buy a milking machine for his dairy business. But he had to drop the idea as he could not afford to shell out Rs 96,000 for the product. He then thought of making a machine himself — an easy-to-operate hand-operated one. In 2002, Gowda made his Milkmaster, which has now been patented and commercialised in many parts of the country.He later made an electric-operated, which made his poultry business much more profitable. In 2005, he won the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) award.
Gowda’s was among the over 90 extraordinary success stories on display at Krishi Vasant, the largest agriculture fair held here from February 9 to 13. The fair attracted over 6 lakh farmers from all over the country. Over 25,000 farmers interacted with scientists, over 20,000 got training in best agricultural practices ranging from crop to fisheries and from allied poultry and dairy to manure-making. Many shop-ped for machines with costs running into lakhs. Those who couldn’t, however, spent a lot of time in the machines pavilion, wondering if they could ever buy one of them.
But Gowda and others like him provided them with the options they could afford. Milkmaster costs between Rs 14,000 and Rs 35,000.
At another corner stood a machine that does everything from making juices, shampoo and ketchup to gels and jellies. Called multipurpose processing machine, it can be used like a pressure cooker, a homogeniser and a sterliser alike. And its innovator is Dharambir Kamboj, a rickshaw-puller-turned-farmer from Damla village, Haryana.
Vasant Patil from Karanji village of Yavatmal district’s Umarkhed tahsil has made many farm implements that can be attached to both bullocks and tractors. Along with Narayan Deshmukh of the adjoining Nanded district, he runs Nirmiti Krishi Avjare Utpadan Gat that has manufactured hundreds of machines so far.
Former Apple executive and Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri has also been included in the spokespersons’ list.