In a bid to solve the problem of labour shortage in Karnataka, a farmer from Mangaluru district has developed a machine that will help arecanut growers spray pesticides and harvest nuts from the trees. The machine, developed by a 60-year-old farmer, K Ganapathi Bhat, is modelled on a bike and allows a person to sit on it to scale the trees up and down with ease.
A video of Bhat’s invention has gone viral on social media and has also earned the praise of business tycoon Anand Mahindra who described the machine as “elegantly designed with minimum weight”.
How cool is this? The device not only seems effective & does the job, but also looks elegantly designed with a minimum of weight. @rajesh664 can your team look at this more closely & see whether we can market Mr. Bhat’s device as part of our Farm solutions portfolio? https://t.co/4O0y2DmBzh
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) June 18, 2019
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Ganapathi said, “I have developed this machine due to the shortage of climbers to pluck the arecanut from the trees. Using this equipment, farmers can climb and cultivate their trees. The machine has been tested in my own farm and has received a lot of appreciation.”
Explaining its mechanism, the science graduate said, “The machine weighs 28 kg and has a two-stroke engine. Any person weighing up to 80 kg can climb a tree in 30 seconds and can alight from the tree by switching off the engine. A person can climb around 80 trees using one litre of petrol. The use of hydraulic drum with a shock absorber in the engine ensures one’s safety, incase the engine slips to the ground.”
#WATCH Mangaluru: Ganapathi Bhat,farmer from Sajipamooda village,has developed a machine that helps in climbing arecanut tree;says,’It’s simple innovation,climber(60-80kg) can climb upto 80 trees using litre of petrol on avg. Gave priority to safety while developing it.#Karnataka pic.twitter.com/nRcse46MDB
— ANI (@ANI) June 17, 2019
The machine, which costs around Rs 75,000, consists of a brake as well as a clutch for the smooth movement of the machine while climbing the trees. Bhat said he is planning to modify the same to use it for climbing coconut trees.
Mangaluru, Shivamogga, Udupi, Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu districts in the state are known for arecanut plantations but due to severe labour shortage, the farmers are unable to harvest on time.