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TNAU designs five equipment to tackle labour shortage

M. Balagenssin
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To help in weed management, harvest and processing of produce

ON THE MOVE: Farm equipment being demonstrated at TNAU - Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute at Kumulur.
ON THE MOVE: Farm equipment being demonstrated at TNAU - Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute at Kumulur.

The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University - Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute at Kumulur, has designed five new equipment for the benefit of farmers.

Mechanisation process aims at eliminating the problem being faced by farmers in the wake of scarcity of labour. Designed for specific crops, the equipment come in handy for specific purpose such as harvest, weed management and processing of the produce. The tractor-operated multi-purpose hoist, one of the equipment, has been designed to harvest fruits, particularly mango, sapota and also jack fruit. Weighing about 150 kg, the machine can be operated for harvesting fruits up to a level of 27 feet from the ground.

“Horticultural fruits will not be wasted, if the machine is used,” says A. Tajuddin, dean of the college. Weeds pose a great problem to the farmers. The college has devised two machines for removing weeds. The power weeder and tractor-drawn sweep weeder will facilitate removal of weeds in a swift manner. The power weeder that weighs about 120 kg facilitates the clearing of the weeds in row and garden lands.

The tractor-drawn sweep weeder, weighing about 170 kg, also for garden lands, would take up clearing of weeds on a fast phase, Prof. Tajuddin says. The college has evolved a motor-operated tamarind huller for peeling off the outer layer of the tamarind. “The equipment can handle 100 kg an hour, against the manual capacity of just 10 kg,” he said, referring to the advantage of the huller. The college has improvised the machine used for climbing the coconut tree.

“The university had already introduced a machine for the purpose and based on the feedback from the coconut farmers, we have introduced a few improvements focussing on the safety and speed in the harvest process,” he said. The machine weighs 3.5 kg. The equipment were developed by the Department of Farm Machinery of the college. P. Kamaraj, B. Sudhakar and R. Thiyagaraan, all assistant professors took up the research for a period that ranged between two and seven years. They interacted with farmers of different regions in the state and developed the equipment, Prof. Tajuddin said. A demonstration of the equipment was conducted at the college premises recently.

He said the TNAU would coordinate with industries for manufacturing the equipment.

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