The Hindu | VIJAYAWADA, September 14, 2015 | |
P. Karthik and T. Kiran using the rotary tiller in a field in Prakasam district.
Two students of Prakasam Engineering College, Kandukur, Prakasam District, Andhra Pradesh have come up with a rotary tiller to help distressed ryots. The manual tiller, which can be operated without fuel, is also easy to carry, said P. Karthik and T. Kiran, who designed it. “Rotary tiller is a multi-purpose tool, which can also be used as weed remover. It is best suited for Indian farmers who face severe manpower crunch,” said Prof. M. Lakshman Rao, principal of the college, who guided the duo in designing the equipment. “Removing weed and tilling soil before sowing are expensive. Moreover, farmers are facing draught and shortage of labourers. But, tilling the soil several times gives a bumper yield,” Karthik said. “Big farmers who own more than five acres engage machinery for tilling, removing weed, sowing and other works. But, paddy farmers who own small plots are dependent on animals, as they cannot afford machines. The rotary tiller is highly useful for such farmers,” said Kiran. Explaining the operation of the tiller, the students said the equipment was designed according to mechanical advantage formula (‘MFR’: M=Moment, F=Force and R=Radius). Using the machine, farmers can get more work done with less efforts. The tiller is made of iron rods of 50 cm radius bent in a circular shape, while cutting tools are attached on its circumference at 45 to 50 degree angle, the students said.
“The MFR formula played a major role in the making of the tiller. When the radius is increased, the movement of the tool also increases. The same formula is adopted for tractors to get higher mileage. The rotation of the ploughing tool increases and soil is tilled to a greater depth,” said the principal. “Rotary tiller or the manual tiller can be used for cultivation of paddy, chilli, tobacco and horticulture crops. It can be operated by women too. The tool has already been marketed to some farmers, and it is showing good results,” Prof. Rao said. V. Surya Rao, a paddy farmer from Gudivada, said farmers were spending nearly Rs. 4,000 per acre on tilling and for removing weed for one crop, and the tool will be of immense help to them. A farmer can till two acres a day using manual tiller. – Courtesy