With a view to facilitating the pulses growers with modernised agricultural practices, the National Pulses Research Centre in Vamban village near here and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra have jointly introduced a combined mechanised harvester.

The harvester, which can be operated both on the flat and levelled fields, not only separates the grains but also avoids the conventional manual thrashing process, thereby eliminating a good part of labour normally required for harvesting the crop.

Costing Rs. 15 lakh, the imported machinery saves both time and expenditure for the pulses growers. Normally, about 20 labourers harvest an acre of land for a few hours, manually separating the grains from the trash. But, the machinery can harvest an acre within an hour.

Speaking after inaugurating a demo of the machinery at the green gram fields at Vamban village on Thursday, T. Jeyaraj, Director, Tamil Nadu Rice Research Institute, Aduthurai, appealed to the pulses growers to take maximum advantage of the combined harvester.

S. Geetha, Professor and Head, National Pulses Research Centre, said that the cost of harvest would be reduced to a great extent, as the harvester avoided the conventinal mode of labour-intensive process. The harvester would be available to farmers on a nominal rental tariff to be fixed shortly.

K. Chinnaiyan, Programme Co-ordinator, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, said that the pulses growers would benefit in a big way. Senior professors D. Packiaraj, H. Vijaraghavan were among those who spoke.

A large number of pulses growers and scientists were present.