Pankaj Vatsal- Ranchi : Noted social activist and secretary of Vikas Bharti Ashok Bhagat has stressed on developing women-friendly, low-cost small farm tools suiting to topography of Jharkhand for reducing the drudgery of rural women of Jhrakhand who perform most of the agricultural operations like transplanting, manuring, irrigation, harvesting and post harvest operations, agro/ social forestry etc.
Addressing the Technology and Machinery Demonstration Fair at Birsa Agricultural University (BAU) on Friday, he said women are lagging behind in the use of improved technology and equipments at farm which causes significant physical, mental exhaustion and other health problems to them.
Designing and standardizing appropriate tailor made tools and equipment for women can reduce or entirely prevent physical fatigue, which is linked with farm work, Bhagat held. He also stressed on promoting cattle farming and restoring use of oxen in land preparations and other agricultural operations otherwise Jharkhand will be lagging behind in organic farming which is the future of safe farming.
BAU Vice Chancellor Dr Onkar Nath Singh said that industrial units have been contacted for commercial manufacturing of low-cost, less energy requiring prototypes recently released by the university. The VC said that he has worked in seven states but found maximum subsidy on farm equipments and machinery in Jharkhand.
Associate Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering Prof DK Rusia said this annual machinery mela is organized in all agricultural university of the country on the instruction of ICAR.
Phanindra Nath Tripathy, Director Soil Conservation and RP Singh, Executive Director, Jharkhand Agricultural Machinery Testing & Training Centre dwelt on the government schemes under which support for farm mechanization and irrigation with 80-90% subsidy. The event was jointly organized by ICAR sponsored four All India Coordinated Research Projects entitled energy in agrobased industries, farm implements & machinery, farm machinery & power engineering and post harvest engineering & technology.
Hundreds of hand operated, animal drawn, power and motor operated implements displaying their capacity and price were displayed for awareness of the visiting farmers. Different models of green house, detachable roof green house for winter, rainy and summer seasons, multipurpose green house, temporary shed net house, insect proof net house, plastic low tunnel, low cost ripening chamber, micro irrigation system, water soluble fertilizers for fertigation, vertical farming, soilless cultivation, roof top farming were also on display.
Machines for establishing small agro industrial units with cost involvement of Rs one to two lakhs and monthly income potential of Rs 18-20 thousands were also on show. These included potato chips making machine, green pea sheller, mahua seed remover machine, band sealer, hammer mill, oil mill, pulse mill, bakery unit, choumin making unit etc. About 500 farmers sponsored by different government agencies and NGOs from 14 districts participated in event.