SCI-TECH & AGRI

Indigenous paddy thresher may address labour shortage crisis

Good solution: Mohammed Fazlul Haque, Moirabari village, Assam standing next to his invention. — Photo: Special Arrangement

Good solution: Mohammed Fazlul Haque, Moirabari village, Assam standing next to his invention. — Photo: Special Arrangement  

The unit priced at Rs. 35,000 was exhibited at the Rashtrapati Bhavan

Unlike in the west, not much mechanisation has taken place in the agriculture sector in the country.

“Even those using machines hold a grievance that they cannot use it all through the year, or they are not available on rent when needed.

Blissfully ignorant

“And our agriculture experts keep on harping that mechanisation helps increase production, blissfully ignorant about the lack of its popularity among farmers,” says Mr. Kishore Kalita, Fellow, National Innovation Foundation, Guwahati, Assam.

“While this is the stark reality in many places, on the other side there are hundreds of farmers-turned-innovators coming up with something new to address a specific problem in their locality or region.

“These inventors develop new devices practically every alternate day in the hope that they could solve not only their problems but also of others,” he adds.

Backyard scientists

These backyard scientists are in no way inferior to the other so called successful entrepreneurs. The only thing they lack is media support and funding, according to him.

Mr. Mohammed Fazlul Haque from Assam developed a paddy thresher that does not cut the paddy chaff into bits and pieces but throws them out whole.

Traditionally farmers thresh paddy by beating it on the ground and clean it by dropping it before a fan for removing the dirt and dust particles.

In some places, cattle are made to walk over the harvested paddy bunches and yet in some places pedal operated threshers are used.

Some farmers also thresh paddy using commercial threshers tailored for different kinds of crops.

These multipurpose threshers chop the paddy chaff into small bits and render them unfit for use as cattle do not eat these cut pieces. Farmers also cannot sell the cut pieces of straw thus losing additional revenue.

Benefits



According to Mr. Fazlul, by using his machine the whole paddy stalk can be obtained instead of chopped pieces. The nutritional value is conserved in the whole stalk and fed to cattle or sold.

The machine, fitted with a spike tooth cylinder, and semi cylindrical concave can be adjusted by changing the length of each spike.

There is no sieve or shaker and the grains fall directly from the concave gap and are cleaned by the blower just below the concave.

Power generation

It runs on 5 hp power (either stationary engine, electric motor or tractor can be coupled) and the average feed rate is 300 kg/h (paddy crop). It can also support feed rate up to 900 kg/h (mansuri variety grown in Assam).

Says Mr. Fazlul:

“Especially for paddy crop, right from raising the seedlings to harvesting, labour requirement is quite high and villages today face a serious shortage of manpower.

Per acre income

The returns from per acre yield for paddy are not so remunerative compared to the labour charge and market price one gets today. For those continuing to grow their paddy crops, my device definitely provides a good solution.”

The farmer adds that he started working on developing the machine from 2003 and after developing many prototypes came up with this final version in 2005.

According to a report from the Department of Agriculture, Assam, “The machine is the first indigenously manufactured thresher in the region and proves to be a gift to the paddy growers of the region."

Made to order

Till date Mr. Fazlul has sold more than 75 machines in different parts of the state. He delivers the machines based on order in a week's time.

The unit priced at Rs. 35,000 (excluding prime mover and cost of transportation) was exhibited the Rashtrapati Bhavan recently at the grassroot innovation exhibition organised by National Innovation Foundation (NIF) India, which is also supporting him under the Micro Venture Innovation Fund.

For more information readers can contact Mr. Md. Fazlul Haque, Moirabari village, Morigaon district, Assam-782126, Mobile: 98648 67012.

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