With ‘Krishiraja’, a portable device made from bicycle parts, Gopal Bhise has made ploughing feasible for poor farmers
One may often come across stories, pictures or videos that depict farm hands labouring to till their fields in the country’s hinterlands using a heavy, unwieldy wooden plough.
To many of us it is just a piece of news, a sad irony, that India no longer shines in villages; but not for Gopal Bhise, a small farmer from Jalgaon district, Maharashtra. Bhise owns some land but is so poor that he cannot afford a pair of plough animals or rent a tractor.
One day, on his way to the field, Bhise happened to see a grocer transporting four big sacks of flour on a bicycle.
He realised that though the activity appeared tedious, the grocer would have been saved the cost of cartage, and he thought, “Why should I not modify the bicycle for the purpose of farm operations?”
Bhise set to work on this idea, and after a lot of trial and error, he came out with an implement — fashioned out of the front axle, wheel and handlebar of a standard bicycle — that could be used by marginal farmers to execute functions carried out by bullocks or tractors.
People would laugh at him but he persisted in believing in his idea. Perseverance paid off and his portable implement, christened ‘Krishiraja’, was received very well in the local market and has won him the National Innovation Award.
He has made more than 200 devices so far. The ‘Krishiraja’ currently sells for approximately Rs. 1,200 a piece. It is easy to operate and suited for those who cannot afford bullocks.
The over 200 farmers who use Bhise’s multipurpose cycle weeder/hoe, vouch for its success. “It was my frustration at the plight of marginal farmers like me that made me develop this device. For a poor farmer like me, a bicycle is more affordable than a pair of bullocks,” says Bhise. With the help of GIAN (Grassroots Innovation Augmentation Network), West, his innovation has been transformed into a motorised device.