It can weed two rows of crops at a time
The operation can be completed by just three labourers
COIMBATORE: A power-operated weeder for use in the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), developed and designed by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), was demonstrated to the scientists of the university recently.
Witnessing the demonstration, Vice-Chancellor of the university P. Murugesa Boopathi said that in the SRI method of rice cultivation being popularised in Tamil Nadu weeding was an important operation that enhanced yield.
So long the weeding operations were carried out by the manually operated Cono-Weeder. Farmers were finding it difficult to operate this weeder. Also, getting labour to perform the operations was becoming difficult. To alleviate this, the university developed this power-operated weeder, Mr. Boopathi said.
However, he cautioned that the weeder would perform effectively only when the recommended spacing of 22.5 cm. was maintained in the rice field. The weeder could weed two rows of crops at a time. It weighed 17 kg and could be used to weed 0.8 hectares of rice field a day.
D. Manohar Desudas, Head, Agricultural Machinery Research Centre, TNAU, said the weeder was transferred to Premier Power Equipment and Products Private Limited, Coimbatore, through a Memorandum of Understanding. The company had commercially manufactured the weeder which was ready to be launched throughout the country.
The cost of the machine was around Rs. 30,000. It would ensure that the weeding operation would be completed by just three labourers.