A semi-literate farmer with a bent of mind for mechanical mending has modified a seed planter machine provided by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Engineering department with an enhancement to avoid weeding while planting, thereby reducing the expenditure of farmers.
While Raja is awaiting a clearance of Rs 10 lakh loan from the Vellore District Industries Centre to start commercial production, his toying with a mobile seed planter yet again has resulted in him improving the machine that is now welcomed by farmers. Though the Agriculture Department has been providing seed planting ma-chines for the past 15 years, the problem observed by the farmers was that the machine would plant the paddy sapling along with the weeds. Later, the farmers would have to spend money for removing them.
Talking to DT Next, Raja said, “I bought the government machine for Rs 4,800 and spent another Rs 2,000 to improve it. A local carpenter and machinist fitted wheels to the machine which will plant seeds in rows.”
First, the container in the machine is filled with seeds, he said. “When pulled along the field, the seeds will be dropped without interlace in the equidistant holes. This not only ensured that no weeds were unwittingly planted but also helped farmers save nearly Rs 2,000 per acre.”
Farmers usually spend around Rs 5,000 an acre for transplanting seedling and remove weeds later on. However, this machine avoids weeding and hence that cost is saved for farmers.
Stating that many local farmers are evincing interest in acquiring such a ma-chine, he said, “I will demonstrate it before Vellore Collector SA Raman at the next agricultural grievances day. If necessary, I am even willing to demonstrate it at any farm.” M Kalaiarasu, a big farmer near Vellore said, “If the machine can do what Raja says, then it is indeed a boon for farmers opting for paddy.”