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IIT-Madras, Farmers NGO develops unique agri transportation system

IIT-Madras, Farmers NGO develops unique agri transportation system

Chennai, Nov 2 (UNI) The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras
(IIT-Ms) researchers jointly with a farmers NGO have developed
an unique, efficient and cost-effective agricultural transportation
system that addresses labour shortage, a major issue faced by
the Indian farmers.
This transportation system, which is a lightweight monorail type,
can economically carry agricultural produce from the fields to
collection points near the farmlands.
An IIT-M team, jointly with ‘Pothu Vivasayeegal Sangam,’ a NGO
for farmers, has successfully tested this prototype cableway
system at a farm in Nanjai Thottakurichi village in Karur district
of Tamil Nadu.
Manpower shortage for farming activities is one of the major
issues plaguing the Indian farming system. The problem is
especially severe during the post-harvest period when
significant manpower is required to transport agricultural
produce (such as sugarcane, banana bunches, or paddy)
from the field to a nearby collection point.
The problem is especially acute in wetland farms, where labourers
find it difficult to traverse across waterlogged land with headloads.
This transportation system developed by Prof.Shankar Krishnapillai,
Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT-Madras, jointly with the
farmers NGO provides an economical and simple solution to this
problem.
Highlighting the unique features of this transportation system,
Prof.Shankar Krishnapillai said Indian farmers will face severe
shortage of labour in the coming years, especially in post-harvest
operations.
The simple agricultural transportation system is made in local
workshops, from locally available components, based on the
lightweight overhead rail concept. It can be easily installed on
Indian farms and reduce labour requirements in transporting
the produce, he said.
The system has also minimal environmental disturbance as it
passes over the ground, he added.
Explaining how the transportation system can be scaled to farms
across the country, Prof.Shankar Krishnapillai said the proposed
agricultural system is based on the very simple design concept
and components and easy to be implemented in any local farm.
Additional rails and posts can be easily added and the range can
be scaled up to over a kilometre. Also in future, the trolleys can be
powered by a battery power pack charged by solar energy, he said.
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