Handy cycle weeder for small farmers

Updated - September 19, 2019 06:18 pm IST

Published - April 22, 2015 11:02 pm IST

 Vegetable - Cucumber         Mr. Mallikarjuna B.O Agronomist Interacting with farmers

Vegetable - Cucumber Mr. Mallikarjuna B.O Agronomist Interacting with farmers

Weeds are the biggest problem in crop production. Nearly 30 to 50 per cent of yield loss is due to weeds. These unwanted plants remove nearly 25 to 60 per cent of nutrients from the soil making them unavailable for plants and also act as host for several pests and infestations.

Weed management is a big problem mainly because of labour shortage. Agricultural activity in India is largely labour based and shortage of manual labour has a direct impact on crop production. So what is the option?

Small sized weeding machines, which are priced affordably and easy to use are a good solution.

Easy to operate Tarabalu Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Davanagere recently introduced a cycle weeder for farmers in the region, priced at an affordable rate, and easy to operate for removing weeds, according to Mr. B.O.Mallikarjuna, specialist at the institute.

“In the training, we had demonstrated the use of this device for weeding different crops. After the training programme, selected farmers were given the weeder for use in their own farms under our technical guidance.

“We suggested to farmers that it can be used for all the crops like groundnut, sunflower, maize and vegetables with the spacing of 30-40 cm between the lines and 15 -20 cm within the plants,” says Dr. T.N. Devaraja, Programme Coordinator.

As a trial, the weeding technology was demonstrated in a vegetable field of a farmer, followed by frequent visits by the KVK team to access and record data on weed menace, time taken by the device for weeding, and yield. Farmers using this device expressed their satisfaction that the weeder was well suited for those whose land holding was two acres or less.

Best suited Though it can be used for any crop it is best suited for vegetables since the space between plants is more for operating this device.

The weeder can penetrate the soil to a depth of 2-2.5 cm. It can be used for weeding 1 to 1.5 acre in a day and can be either operated by a single person or/and also attached to bullocks. It is ideal to use this device after 15-20 days of planting the crops in the main field.

Previously manual labourers were used for weeding work. The main problem with labourers is that many of them were inefficient and demanded high wages during planting, weeding or harvesting time.

Hiring charges “Unlike foreign countries, where hundreds of acres are available without any borders, in India it is the other way around. Here 80 percent of our farmers are small and marginal growers with small land holdings divided by bunds on all four sides making it difficult to use big machines for any operations. Also the hiring charges per day are quite heavy and may not be feasible for a small farmer. For such people this type of machine may be useful,” says Mr. Mallikarjuna.

Beneficiary Mr. Renukarya, a retired agriculture scientist who has been using this device says:

“I have been using this machine and find it beneficial as I don’t need to depend on external man power for operating it. I think this is the best technology for future agriculture when land holdings are reducing in size.

“The population is increasing day by day but not the land and there will be more fragmented lands in future and this type of device will be very suitable for small farmers.”

Operation The machine operates efficiently when the field is irigated for the device to pull out the weeds. Farmers should note that the field must not be hard since it would be difficult to use the device.

Taralabalu KVK is popularizing this technology in and around their region. The weeders are priced at Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 2,500 a piece.

Those interested contact Dr. T.N. Devaraja, Programme Co ordinator, Taralabalu KVK, Davanagere - 577 004, Phone: 08192-263462, Mobile: 09449856876, email: dvgtkvk@yahoo.com, website: >www.taralabalukvk.com and Mr. Renukarya at 09900110947.

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