Drought, a scourge of humanity, makes living impossible for farmers, destroying land, men and farm animals alike. With the death of cattle, and lack of water for irrigation, ploughing barren fields becomes futile.

But not for Mr. Mansukhbhai Jagani an ordinary, not well educated farmer in Mota Devaliya village, Amreli district, in Gujarat who proved that “where there is a will, there is a way.”

Santi

Using his old motorcycle, the farmer developed a machine system called Santi for small farm holdings, complete with attachments for tilling, weeding and sowing. Several farmers in the district have caught on to the idea, and there are now close to 40 Santis in the district.

It costs between Rs. 14,000-18,000, making it much cheaper than other mechanical ploughs and it performs several functions such as weeding, ploughing and sowing for an acre.

Being a school dropout, Mr. Jagani in his tiny workshop, at his Mota Devaliya village, tinkered with a bullet motorcycle and converted it into a ploughing tractor which is much cheaper than a real tractor.

Extent of coverage

The bullet tractor ploughs an acre of land in just half an hour with only two litres of diesel.

“When a farmer asked me for a replacement for his two bullocks, I got a flash in my mind inspired by a local mode of transport, the three-wheel taxi chakdo (common transport in the region), and designed what I call Bullet Santi,” says Mr. Jagani.

The motorcycle’s engine was converted to a 5.5 HP diesel engine and the rear wheel replaced with an attachment with two wheels.

Once a tool bar was fixed to the attachment this unique machine could carry out various farming operations such as furrow opening, sowing, inter-culturing and spraying.

Cost effective

The machine proves to be cost effective and fuel efficient, can plough an acre of land in just half an hour consuming only two litres of fuel. Ten hectares of land can be weeded in a day and the cost of weeding is a mere eight rupees a hectare.

The farmer says:

“This contraption can be attached to any motorcycle having with at least 325 cc (6.5 HP) by replacing the rear wheel with innovative assembly unit designed by me. Various agriculture attachments can then be attached to it for various farm operations such as shallow ploughing, inter-culturing, weeding, sowing and spraying.

“This device has the potential to improve productivity and reduce operating costs for farmers who are currently using bullocks but cannot afford the cost of tractors or power tillers.”

With the help of National Innovation Foundation (NIF), Ahmedabad, Mr. Jagani got a patent in India and in the U.S. for this device.

Excellent response

Mr. Jagani’s innovation was also displayed at the Indian Science Congress at Pune and at the Swadeshi Vigyan Mela at IIT, Delhi where he got an excellent response.

He also got the opportunity to display his innovation in South Africa in an exhibition organized by the Department of Small, Medium & Micro Enterprises (SMME) of the Northern Provinces jointly with Commonwealth Science Council (CSC), London.

Global applications

The knowledge and skill of this rural genius impressed everyone present. In fact, his motorbike-polycultivator is considered a typical example of a product with global applications.

With design inputs from NID, Ahmedabad, help in patent-application-filing from Boston, U.S., based THT, law firm and business-plan development by Sloan School of Management of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the innovation has literally gone places.

For more information readers can contact Mr. Mansukhbhai Jagani, Mota Devaliya, Amreli- 365410, Gujarat, Phone : 02791-276730, mobile : 9925447400 or GIAN (Grassroot Innovation Augmentation Network), Ahmedabad, Gujarat, email: mahesh@gian.org, phone: 079-26768696.