HYDERABAD: The rocky terrain and soil in various parts of Narayankhed, Sangareddy district, have been giving the farmers nightmares for quite some time now. From sowing to weeding and harvesting, cost of labour is higher in Narayankhed when compared to places with fertile soils. As a result, thousands of acres are lying uncultivated. However, a possible solution has come from the innovation of a young mechanical engineer, who hails from a ryot family.
K Deepak Reddy, a native of Borancha village under Manoor mandal in Sangareddy district, was not keen on getting a job after bagging his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2016. After three years of rigorous efforts of trial-and-error, he was finally able to design a solution in the form of a “multi-purpose harvester” which, he claims, can not only separate big stones from the soil, but also harvest crops grown underground.
This machine, when attached behind a tractor, ploughs the land using its blade, collect the soil on a conveyor which rotates on its axis, drop the soil back on the ground, and carry the stones separated that would be stored in a bucket in it. The stones can be dropped at the boundary when the soil is cleared.
He says that the machine can also be used to harvest potatoes, onions and other crops grown beneath the soil, using the same technology- by making certain adjustments in its functioning process.
“Farmers spent three to four months growing a crop. But, when the harvest time arrives, due to a shortage of labourers and other factors, the process get affected. The multi-harvester, which uses power take-off technology like tractors, can save up to 50-60 per cent on harvesting expenditure,” asserts Deepak.
This machinery can be used for two-three months during the two-crop seasons and during summer, it can be used to clear stones, making the soil cultivable for the next season, he adds. By participating in the ‘i2e lab’ of Telangana State Innovation Cell in the past six months, he has been able to convert his innovation into a product, through networking, business development and prototyping his brainchild. His start-up, Bhoumya Innovation, has also been selected for receiving a Rs 10-lakh grant from ICAR-NAARM).
Comparing it with other similar products, the innovator says that a farmer who purchased a stone-removing machine made in Turkey recently spent Rs 12 lakh for it, whereas his product costs only Rs 2.5 lakh. The innovator is currently planning to give the harvester on rent to farmers in Narayankhed, where he claims about 10,000 acres are lying uncultivated.