Farming is not an easy task and organic farming is not at all. Sometimes low yield, sometimes increasing labor cost, sometimes weed. These problems sometimes become so big that the farmer is forced to change his farming pattern.
Ashok Jadhav, a farmer living in Chinchnar village of Satara (Maharashtra) was also facing similar problems. Ashok was earlier a machinist in a private company. After retiring, he started farming on the land he had inherited from his father. He says, “I have been cultivating this land since 1999. I grow sugarcane, soybean, turmeric, tomato and seasonal vegetables. When I switched to organic farming, the problem of weeds came in front of me. I was adopting all kinds of measures to deal with it.”
Find a solution to one problem, then another comes in front
According to 71-year-old Jadhav, doing organic farming means using natural fertilizers. But this was increasing the problem of weeds in the field and they were also depleting the nutrients of the soil. In addition, the growth of plants was also affected. To get rid of this problem, Ashok started using weedicide.
“Though it was an effective solution, it was defeating my purpose of doing organic farming. The chemical also started deteriorating the quality of the soil. I was looking for a solution that is non-chemical so that the quality of the soil is maintained.” He started employing laborers to remove weeds. He explains, “The labor cost was coming very high for this. I could not spend 20 thousand rupees on those laborers which I needed only occasionally.”
After this he started looking for a new solution to deal with this problem. He says, “I contacted agriculture experts from the government department and developed a cycle weeder. This weeder was cutting the weeds on the side of the crop, but was not able to remove the weeds or weeds growing in the middle of the crop. Its wheels were fitted with blades, which were taking out the Khatwar. His weeder failed to get rid of the problem. He also went to several agricultural exhibitions in search of economical solutions. but to no avail.
Making changes to the device
Even though despite all the efforts, the problem was not solved, but Ashok did not give up. He again started looking for a better option. He said, “In 2018 I had made up my mind that I would continue to find some permanent solution to this. I took two iron rods and bent them at their ends. Put a thin metal wire of 8-10 inches in the middle. Then by joining these two bars with a metal pipe, made its handle. This device pulls the weeds outwards and the metal wire cuts them at the root.”
The device was working fine. It was able to remove weeds even from the middle of the crop. But the metal wire, after cutting through the thick stem of the weed, was often breaking. Due to this many times Ashok’s hand and shoulder were also hurt. For the next two years, Ashok kept on making changes to the device.
He said, “I improved the angle of the iron rods to bend it. A piece of metal was used to support the cutting wire. From my experience so far, I knew that a seven-inch wire works much better.”
His experience of working as a machinist for many years came in handy here. To prevent the weight of the device from becoming too much, instead of metal, a bamboo handle was used. He says, “It helped to overcome the shortcomings to a great extent. Earlier where 10 laborers were required to work on one acre of land and the cost was 3000 rupees per day. At the same time, now a single person can do this work in two days for about 300 rupees.
It does not require any kind of fuel or spare parts to run and neither does much maintenance.
Price only Rs 400
When he first shared the video and pictures of the device on social media, he started getting countless questions from farmers. He told, “I made about 400 devices and gave them to the nearby farmers. When the demand became high, I started enlisting the help of a local workshop. The price of the device has been kept at Rs 400 so that more and more farmers can take advantage of it.”
Satish Munje, a farmer from Satara, is using this device. He says, “Earlier, I used to spend Rs 40,000 on laborers to remove weeds from my 2.5 acre farm. This device has reduced my labor cost. Now all this work is done by just one laborer in 5000 rupees.
Watch the video here:
Five thousand devices made so far
Ashok claims that he has sold around 5000 devices so far. He explains, “Farmers from Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Pandharpur, Yavatmal and many other states are asking me about the device. Recently, I have also received orders from Punjab, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Ashoka aims to organize workshops for farmers along with the technology to make this device and solutions to the problems of farming.”
He says, “Thousands of farmers are benefiting from this desi jugaad of mine. I have been successful to an extent in saving their money, time and effort.”
If you want to order a device, call this number 9527949010
Original article: Himanshu Nitnaware
Editing: Archana Dubey
Also read: Dung became a means of employment for 25 women of the village, they make lamps and pots sitting at home
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