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Woman friendly farm tools and equipment

Groundnut stripper- C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop\Scan Photo\16.jpgThe groundnut stripper developed by TNAU, Coimbatore centre consists of a square frame of vertical legs and a horizontal strip of expanded metal fixed on each side of the frame in the form of comb. The stripping of the pods is accomplished by drawing a handful of vines across the comb with a slight force. The structure facilitates its use by four women simultaneously. The height of the stool can be adjusted from 280-400 mm. The weight of the stripper including stools is 23.5 kg. The capacity of the equipment is 11 kg/h/women. Squatting posture is avoided which minimizes stress at knee. About 79% saving in cardiac cost of workers per unit of output is achieved with the groundnut stripper as compared to conventional practice.

Improved bamboo ladder for apple harvesting-C:\Data -07-06-2013\All photograph\Banjar & Kullu (harvesting)\100_6294.JPG Apple is the major fruit crop of Himachal Pradesh grown on level grounds as well as on slopes. Traditionally, workers climb on the trees and carry out harvesting of apples by plucking the fruits with hands. Also, in such cases, the harvesting work is generally done by contractual male workers only. Therefore, a light weight ladder made of locally available bamboos and weighing 12.5 kg was developed. Its height is 240 cm and it costs Rs. 1050/-. This bamboo ladder can help the women workers to carry out the plucking of fruits comfortably, and the one worker can harvest about 100 kg of apples/h. It can also be used for plucking other fruits like apricot, walnut, pomegranate and for other household chores also.

Four row direct paddy seeder- ..\Photo_TNAU\DSC06729.JPGThe ergo-refiend improved direct rice seeder consists of two number of seed hoppers, a pair of ground wheels, main shaft and harness. It can sow four rows at a time. The seed hopper is of hyperboloid shape and is made of polypropylene copolymer material. A lid with lock is provided for filling the drum with seeds. The ground wheels are of 600 mm diameter and are also made of polypropylene copolymer material. The drums and wheels are assembled on the shaft and held in position by means of screws. Weight of the drum seeder is 7.2 kg. The draft requirement of the seeder is 95 N and its working width is 800 mm. It is operated at the speed of 1 km/h.

Three row rice transplanter-E:\Research Paper_Oppular Articles\Leaflet_Bulletins\leaflets\tool images\7.JPG It consists of frame, floats, seedling tray, operating handle, fingers (pickers), tray drive unit and depth control mechanism. To operate the equipment, a mat type nursery is raised. After puddling excess water (leaving 25-50 mm of water) is drained and from next morning the equipment can be operated. The seedling mats may be loaded on the machine tray after sprinkling little water over the tray surface for smooth sliding of mat. After lifting the operating handle, it may be pushed down gently to push the seedlings kept in tray for transplanting. A worker walks backward for operation of the rice transplanter and pulls it after every stroke.

BSKKV rotary arecanut dehusker- Arecanuts are harvested at physiological maturity. Dehusking done by a knife fitted on a wooden plank and curved MS blade. This conventional method is highly labour intensive, time consuming, uneconomical and above all very unsafe for fingers and palms. It is estimated that for a single dehusking operation about 35 to 40 % of the total cost of processing is involved. Therefore, a hand-operated arecanut dehusker was developed. The major parts of the dehusker are a hopper, lead screw, cutting blade and handle. The graded nuts are fed to lead screw through hopper. The nuts get compressed between the lead screw and cutting plate. The teeth on the cutting plate peels off the husk and the kernel are ejected by the leads on the lead screw and thus the husk is separated. The mean values for throughput, working heart rate and Δ HR were 5.0 kg/h, 108 beats/min and 34 beats/min, respectively. The cost of the machine is Rs. 3000/-.

Pedal operated paddy thresher- DSC03155The wire loops are embedded/ welded on these strips. The cylinder is given a rotary motion from the foot pedal through a power transmission system. The paddy bundles are threshed with hold method. The overall dimensions of the paddy thresher are 670 mm length, 750 mm width and 990 mm height. The weight of the equipment is 39 kg. A leg force of 233 N is required to operate the thresher. The output capacity of the thresher is 35 kg/h. It helps to reduce the drudgery in threshing operation as bending posture is avoided and arms are not to be raised above shoulder height as in case of traditional method i.e. beating on a platform/stone.

 Fertilizer broadcaster – It consists of a hopper with agitator, spreading disk, gear, crank with handle, rear cushioning pad and straps with shoulder pad for mounting. The broadcaster is to be cross-mounted, as it is belly-mounted equipment. A woman worker starts the broadcasting work keeping 2.5m away from bund of field and maintain 5 m spacing during the operation in subsequent passes. The quantity of fertilizer in hopper can be observed from its transparent lid and when required it may be filled. The broadcaster can be cleaned thoroughly after use. A woman can easily mount and dismount the refined broadcaster. The broadcaster is 290 mm in diameter and 350 mm in height. The weight of the equipment is 3 kg. The operating width (swath) of the broadcaster is 5 m. It is operated at a speed of 3.9 km/h. Capacity of the hopper is 7.5 litre. Field capacity is 1.15 ha/h.

Hanging type grain cleaner- Hang-clThe hanging type grain cleaner developed at ICAR-CIAE, Bhopal consists of main frame, grading screen, draper rod, rubber grip over handle, shutter etc. Four ropes are tied on the hooks provided on main frame of cleaner and hanged on any elevated point or hooks attached to the ceiling. It is operated in oscillating mode. The handle height of cleaner from ground has to be at waist height of operator. Based on the size of grain, screen may be selected. The grain cleaner is 1040 mm in length, 620 mm in width and 205 mm in height. The weight of the equipment is 17 kg. One person is required to operate the grain cleaner. The output capacity of the grain cleaner is 225 kg/h.

Improved sickle- It consists of serrated blade, ferrule and wooden handle. Cutting of crop stalk is being done with the improved (serrated) sickle by sawing action as against by impact or pulling action in case of local (plain) sickle. Due its less weight i.e. about 180 g the fatigue coming on wrist is less and the drudgery involved in harvesting is reduced as compared to local sickles which are heavier i.e. weighing about 350 g.

Fruit HarvesterC:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop\orange harvesting tool.jpg– The NERIST centre of AICRP on ESA has developed a manual orange harvesting tool. It consists of a thin bamboo stick fixed with a cutter at top. The cutter is operated by rope and clutch type mechanism. A basket with a long net passage is fixed at the top end of the bamboo to collect and transport oranges to ground level. This system eliminates the frequent unloading of harvested oranges which helps to reduce load on hand and thus the drudgery involved is less. The mean working heart rate was 107 beats/min and the increase in heart rate over rest was 32 beats/min which is within acceptable work load limit.

Scissor type tea plucker- 30 Tea plucker-scissor typeTea plucking is the most labour intensive and the most expensive field operation in tea cultivation. In order to alleviate the acute labour problem and also to avoid skin problems to hands of workers, mechanical harvesting with shear cutting of shoots without damaging the buds is followed as an alternate solution. For ensuring better health and safety with improved work efficiency and reduced drudgery of farm women workers, an ergo refined scissor type plucker was developed by TNAU, Coimbatore centre. The unit consists of a light weight collection tray, nylon net lid, a pair of mild steel blade and nylon handle grip. The unit weighs 800 g. The cost of the unit is Rs.750. The output with this unit was 8.6 kg/h as against 5.2 kg of leaves/h in hand picking. Cardiac cost for tea plucking with this unit was lower (295 beats/kg) as compared to hand plucking method (580 beats/kg).

Hand ridger- A manually operated hand ridger has been developed at CIAE, Bhopal for making ridges. It consists of ridger and pulling beam with T- type handle. The field needs to be well prepared for getting better performance of equipment for making ridges/furrows. The equipment is operated by two women workers, one for pulling and another for pushing and guiding. It is 1700 mm in length, 540 mm in width and 860 mm in height. Its weight is 2.8 kg. Two persons are required to operate the ridger. The pull force of 73 N and push force of 27 N are required to operate the ridger. The ridger is operated at the speed of 2.4 km/h. Its field capacity is 333 m2/h. There is about 67% saving in cardiac cost of worker per unit output with the ridger in comparison to the traditional method of making ridges. It avoids bending posture, which is generally adopted in traditional method with short handled tools for making ridges. Productivity of worker doubles with the equipment than traditional practice.

Improved large cardamom harvesting knife-C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop\ESA\ESA- compilation\AICRP on ESA photographs-1\Fig. 13.jpg Large cardamom harvesting demands a lot of skill as it is grown on slopes and terraces in hills. The matured spikes are cut with the help of specially designed sharp knife locally known as “Elliachi Chhuri” from the base of its attachment to the main shoot. While harvesting, the worker keeps his balance on the slope and apply force to detach the spikes from the shoot and also remove the pseudo stem from the bush. The improved knife helps to reduce the force required in operation, to minimize accident chances, and to reduce the drudgery involved in the task. Weight of the improved knife is about 170 g and the blade material is EN 8 spring steel. The output values using the traditional and improved knives were 11.6 kg/h and 16.2 kg/h, respectively.