CRIDAs Low-cost Farm Equipment Seen Improving Crop Productivity

Hyderabad, March 28 | Updated: Mar 29 2004, 05:30am hrs
Mechanisation during sowing of crop becomes an essential factor for the current rainfall pattern and recurring drought spells. The Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA) in Hyderabad has developed low- cost farm equipment to save labour, time and do precision farming in the rainfed agricultural areas.

Selective mechanisation of farm equipment used by farmers can help to save time as well labour, according to VM Mayande, principal scientist, (farm machinery and power), CRIDA.

The scientist has developed two low-cost farm equipment a nine-row groundnut planter and single row seed drill plough to improve the productivity of crops by enhancing the input and moisture use efficiency. These two low-cost devices have applied for patents by the CRIDA scientist to improve productivity in rainfed agricultural areas.

According to a recent survey, delay in sowing of crop reduces about 50 kg of the total yield. As the average productivity of rainfed is less than one tonne per hectare, it is necessary for timely sowing of seed and precision is not possible with indigenous tools of the farmers, he said.

The new groundnut planter, designed by Dr VM Mayende, is being commercialised and about 3,000 machines have been sold in Andhra Pradesh. On an average, about 20 per cent of the total productivity has been increased, he said.

It costs about Rs 19,750 which provides uniform seed to seed distance. The plough planter, which costs Rs 1,325, helps in simultaneous application of seed and fertiliser, he explained. The seeds are well-laid into the soil and fertilisers are sprayed on the seeds without any manual spray.