Indian agriculture is traditionally a system of rain fed and dry land agriculture. 65% of the total cropped area comes under rain fed farming situation. 45% of the food grain production and 75 –80% of pulses and oil seed production came from rain fed areas. Though the rain fed / dry lands are receiving less amount of rainfall, the intensity was very high which leads to runoff results in top soil erosion and more amount of pebbles and stones are left out from the field. Over the years, the productive lands become barren / uncultivated one because of the low fertility, water holding capacity and the presence of stones and pebbles.
Development of agricultural sector is driven by innovations at all level. Farmers have come out with numerous innovations in technologies, machinaries which brought them good returns and made farming sustainable practices. Since last three years, MYRADA Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Erode district actively involved in identifying and documenting of farm innovations in a farmer participatory mode.
Agriculture / Farming practices in the recent past is heavily depends on agricultural laborers and raising cost of cultivation, acute labor shortage to carry out the farming practices in time, leads to think of farmers on alternative practices for improving their farm productivity in a sustainable manner.
Hilly regions and rain fed soils contains small pebbles and stones present in the agricultural land,hinders the farming activities such as land preparation and intercultural operations. Dr.P.Alagesan,program Coordinator of MYRADA Krishi Vigyan Kendra says that “Huge amount of labor is engaged and its unavailability is the major problem faced by the farmers. In general, the women are engaged in the removal of pebbles stones in the dry land farming before the start of the cropping season, and they undergo serious physical stress while doing such field operations”.
Mr.K.Viswanathan, an innovative farmer turn to be a mechanic from Kullampalayam village of Gobichettipalayam Taluk, Erode District invented the stone remover which is tractor operated one to collect the small pebbles and stones from the field. He says that, from the childhood he observed the female labors engaged for removing the stones and pebbles and their sufferings made him to think for alternate device to reduce the drudgery of farm women and also to manage the shortage of the labor in farming. In dry land farming system, the stone removing activity is essential before starting of the cropping season in order to obtain the optimum productivity from the farming. In this context this particular innovation is essential to improve productivity of the farming in dry land condition. The cost of the machine comes around sum of Rs.1,50,000.00.
Salient features of the equipment:
• Remove the stones, pebbles from the field
• Improves the structure and texture of the soil
• Improves water holding capacities of soil
• Easiness for nursery preparation and other land preparation activities.
• It is suitable for hilly tracts dry tracts and the stony field.
• It can be modified for different purpose in farming, i.e. harvesting of tuber crops.
Such a new system will solve the problem of dry land farmers and women workers in the farming sector in future.