BHAWANIPATNA: Necessity is the mother of ‘jugaad’. And Covid-19 lockdown has proved to be that necessity for two farmers to come out with innovative use of a motorcycle for crushing sugarcane.
Abhi Panda and Gariba Kanta of Rengsapali village together cultivate sugarcane and vegetables over 5 acres of land for few years.
While Gariba owns the land, Abhi meets the input and labour cost. The farmers duo had this year cultivated sugarcane in one acre of land and vegetables in the rest.
While they suffered loss as vegetables could not be procured due to the lockdown, the farmers are hopeful of some profit from sugarcane.Prior to lockdown, they used to sell sugarcane to juice vendors of Dharamgarh, Junagarh and other towns at `10 per piece. But after the lockdown was imposed, they were left with a large stock of sugarcane as no buyers could come forward to procure it due to restrictions on transportation.
With no other way out, Abhi suggested that they prepare jaggery from the stock. However, the farmers did not get the required number of farm labourers and those who agreed to work, demanded double of existing labour charges. Usually, the labourers use bullocks to circularly drag the axles of wooden sugarcane crusher to extract juice.
In the absence of farm labourers, Abhi decided to use a motorcycle to crush the cane and extract juice for making jaggery.
“I suggested to experiment with my motorcycle for crushing the sugarcane and Gariba agreed. We attached a long bamboo to the axle of crusher and joined it with the motorcycle”, said Abhi, who was happy with the arrangement as compared to farm labourers and bullocks, juice extraction using motorcycle was three times more. He said a bullock takes one minute to complete one round of the crusher but in the same time, a motorcycle can finish seven rounds.
Besides, the arrangement is economical too. For a day’s work, Abhi said, they need two workers who charge Rs 500 each but crushing sugarcane with one motorcycle needs two litres of petrol which is around Rs 140.
While Abhi crushes the sugarcane using his motorcycle, Gariba prepares jaggery from the juice. He said they had planted 2000A-56 variety of sugarcane which is long, juicy and resistant of red strip disease.
The duo has already prepared 15 quintal of jaggery and would sell it at Rs 50 per kg after the markets open.