BERHAMPUR: Lack of formal education or institutional training can hardly prove a hindrance for invention. A tribal farmer proved it right by coming up with a ploughing machine made from an old scooter. With mechanised farming and rising labour cost changing the agriculture sector, 42-year-old Udaya Sabar of Godiabandh village in Padmapur block of Rayagada district wanted to make a machine which can replace the labourers and also be cost-effective.
Educated up to Class IV, Udaya used to work as a mason and carpenter. With the technical expertise he acquired from the two professions, an idea struck him to convert the old scooter lying in his house into a ploughing machine. Udaya said he opened a garage at his home to make his idea a reality. With the help of a labourer, he first dismantled the scooter which would have fetched him a pittance from any scrap dealer.
He fixed the front and rear wheels with an axle and put it on an iron platform. Then he joined the axle to the scooter engine mounted on the platform. In order to manoeuvre the machine, he attached the scooter’s handle with brake and accelerator. The machine was ready within a month.
Uday claims that his machine, which cost him Rs 7,000, can till around half an acre of land with one litre of petrol. It can plough up to a depth of 3.5 inches compared to 5 inches by a tractor. Besides, it could be taken to inaccessible areas where tractors cannot reach. Udaya hopes that his machine can help bring down the input cost of agriculture as, besides ploughing, it can sow seeds. He is optimistic that if he is extended financial assistance, he can work on making another machine which will perform better than the existing one.
While Uday is yet to get any help from the State Government, Assistant Agriculture Officer Bijay Kumar Soren said he was aware of Udaya’s feat and would examine the machine’s capability. If found suitable, the Agriculture Department would assist the farmer in manufacturing the machine in a full-fledged manner.