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Profile of the Farmer
- Name of the Farmer: R.T.Elangovan
- Location: Thiruvarur Dist, Tamilnadu
- Date of Birth and Age as on 31 January 2011 : 04.04.1958, 54 yrs
- Educational Qualification: S.S.L.C
- Landholding (in hectare): 2 ha
- Rice farming Experience (in years): 20 yrs
- Cropping system adopted by farmer : Rice-Rice fallow pulse-Gingelly
DETAILS OF INNOVATION
Title and Nature of Innovation: Modified Drum Seeder for Direct Sown Rice.
Reinvention: A Drum Seeder for Direct Sown Rice has been released by Tamilnadu Agricultural University. The applicant has modified the drum seeder to suit his locality and to overcome certain
constraints he faced in operating the drum seeder.
Description of innovation: Direct sown rice is a method of cultivation which has been recommended in areas where late release of canal water is a frequent phenomenon. Around 4000hectares of land in Thiruvarur District of Tamil Nadu which is popularly called as one of the Cauvery Delta District. The farmers in certain pockets of the district like kudavasal, Muthupettai and Thiruthuraipoondi blocks used to go for direct sown rice since they could not ensure the availability of water in the initial spell of monsoon. The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University has released a drum seeder recently for direct sowing of rice in puddled condition. The farmers of 200hectares of rice field in Kudavasal block of Thiruvarur district could not afford to go for puddling, subsequent leveling and draining the water from the field. They often resort to direct sowing on the next day of the release of water for which the TNAU Drum Seeder could not serve the purpose due to undulations in the field. Further using TNAU drum seeder deprived them of using power weeder since the spacing between the two rows is too narrow to operate the machine. Hence, Mr.R.T.Elangovan, a progressive farmer of the Manaparavai village of Kudavasal block has gone for modifying the TNAU drum seeder.
Six splits of silver vessels were welded into three drums and perforations were made on the two peripherals of the drum in such a way that each perforation is perfectly spaced to spill seed on the ground in 22.5cm spacing. Provisions are made to split the drum to fill the seeds easily and all the drums are connected together with a rod which is knit together at two ends by bicycle wheels which is concealed with polythene sheets to avoid struck up in the mud while operating in heavy clay
Problem Statement (How a particular problem was solved by the innovation):
Four important problems are being addressed by the modified drum seeder:
1. The TNAU Maharasi drum seeder is found to be suitable for puddled fields which needs at least four days for bringing the field to fine tilth. The locality where the applicant resides is Cauvery Delta zone wherein the turn system has been followed. The farmers have to complete sowing before the first release of water recedes i.e., three days. In wet land puddled condition it is very difficult to prepare the field in three days. Hence they are forced to go for dry seeding wherein the next day of water release they sow the seeds which could not withstand till next turn of water comes. For Dry seeding TNAU Maharasi Drum Seeder is not suitable because not only water cannot be ensured but also the wheels will get struck in undulations.
2. The spacing between rows is 20 x 20 cm which could not accommodate power weeder. If power weeder is used between rows, the rice plants will be trampled.
3. Further, the clay carried by the wheels often gained entry into the holes of drums at two extreme ends which obstructs the flow of seeds on the ground.
4. Since the TNAU drum seeder is made of plastic, the possibility of the breaking drums by labourers is more and hence durability is another problem which the farmers have been facing with.
Process of technology development:
Conceptualization of idea:
The spacing between rows, the material used for making drum, preparation of wheel is the three important points which ignited the thought process of R.T.Elangovan. He went for silver drums instead of plastic for making drums, used cycle tyre instead of corrugated wheel which can rotate easily on undulated fields, adjusted spacing of the hole on the drum as 22.5 x 22.5cm to facilitate moving of power weeder in between rows.
At first, R.T.Elangovan (applicant) adjusted the spacing to 25 x 25cm and found that he could not maintain population and finally he opted for 22.5 x 22.5 cm spacing. Secondly, he used corrugated wheel which he found unsuitable in his land and he went for cycle tyre.
Adaptability: This reinvention suits well to the direct sown rice in Kudavasal block of Thiruvarur district, since most of the farmers take up direct sowing the next day of release of water in the canal for which this modified drum seeder is appropriate to be used. The seed germination is found to be better since the seeds are comparatively placed in shallow depth.
Eco-friendliness: The modified drum seeder facilitates the use of power weeder which lowers the usage of weedicides which has been used in direct sown rice crop.
Sustainability: The machine could be used sustainably since the durability of the drums used is not a problem to be addressed. Further the direct sowing is the only option that the people of the locality have to depend on.
Economic viability: R.T.Elangovan spent Rs.2800 only for making the modified drum seeder. If one go by depreciation, durability and accompanied benefits of good germination, good crop stand, population maintenance the reinvention is many times advantageous in the given cropping situation of the applicant’s area.
Recognition for the innovation: Krishi Vignan Kendra, Needamangalam in Thiruvarur District has recognized as one of the best innovation in the district. A certificate of appreciation has been given.