It is operated manually to reduce strain of skilled worker: R.V. Hegde
While a few innovators have been making efforts to develop a machine to scale areca palms, a mechanical engineer working for a private company at Bharuch in Gujarat has come out with one such machine.
R.V. Hegde, who hails from a family which grows areca at Sirsi, Uttara Kannada works at Bharuch.
Mr. Hegde was in Mangalore on Tuesday to describe about the machine to president of Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Limited (CAMPCO) Konkodi Padmanabha and president of All India Areca Growers' Association Manchi Srinivasa Achar.
Mr. Hegde was in Mangalore after conducting a demonstration of the machine at an areca plantation at Sirsi a few days ago. He showed the video of the demonstration.
The machine developed by him works on hydraulic power. A one horse power capacity motor operated on petrol, diesel or electricity is enough to generate the power. One has to operate the machine manually using three levers. A seat has been provided for the operator to move upwards and downwards along with it. Mr. Hegde said that a 40 ft. height areca palm could be scaled in five minutes using the machine. He said that it could be used for climbing areca palms for spraying and harvesting ripened areca. It will not reduce the manpower as two persons are required to handle it. It will mainly help to reduce strain on the part of skilled worker as he need to climb the tree manually. It will help increase efficiency.
Mr. Hegde said that he has to make some corrections in the machine which he observed during the demonstration at Sirsi. It was regarding safety as the machine should not jerk down while clutching it in the palm. The manufacturer of the machine in Belgaum has been instructed to implement it. Mr. Hegde said he had developed it from his own funds of Rs. 1 lakh. “When produced on a mass scale for marketing purpose, the cost could be reduced to Rs. 80,000 or Rs. 75,000,” he said.
Mr. Hegde made it clear that through the machine he was not replacing skilled worker but only his strain.