7 Amazing Inventions by Farmers That Will Change Indian Agriculture

Growing up on a farm exposes children to the various challenges of agriculture. While some shy away from these issues, others see them as problems that need to be addressed. The latter thrive as innovators, solving problems by finding new solutions that improve efficiency and sustainability in agriculture – from focusing on improving crop yields and conserving water to embracing organic farming.

Here is a list of seven farmers with innovative solutions that are changing the face of agriculture in the country.

1. The wood scooter revolution

Mangaluru farmer Ganapathy Bhatt has invented an easy-to-use 'tree scooter' that helps reduce dependence on labor and enables farmers to harvest 300 areca palms in a day.
Ganapati Bhatt has developed an easy-to-use 'tree scooter’ that reduces dependence on labour.

Mangaluru-based farmer Ganapathy Bhatt has invented an easy-to-use 'tree scooter’ to harvest potted trees. This has reduced farmers’ dependence on labor and enabled them to harvest 300 areca palms in a day, three times the amount harvested using traditional methods.

Pat faced problems in the pulse harvest due to unreliable workers and improper maintenance of areca trees. This also resulted in loss of income. To solve this problem, he came up with a tree scooter that enables farmers to climb a betel nut tree in seconds.

The machine works with a harness, seat and seat belt, and uses a small motor and a set of wheels to grip the trunk without using their hands. Bhatt says the machine saves around Rs 24,000 in labor costs per week. He has sold hundreds of devices so far.

2. Desert farming innovation

Haresh Thacker has discovered ways to grow dragon fruit in Kutch
Haresh Thacker has discovered ways to grow dragon fruit in Kutch

At Haresh Thackeray’s farm in Kutch, orchards of dragon fruit, mangoes, pomegranates and hundreds of vegetables flourish. The passionate third generation farmer sells his produce under the name Ashapura Agro Fruits.

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Spending all his free time on the farm since the age of 14, Haresh worked towards building an agricultural empire in the parched, arid Gujarat region. Since he could not change the climate, he invented innovative ways to grow fruits and vegetables that were never heard of before in Kutch’s farms.

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Currently, he uses a Vietnamese agricultural technique to grow dragon fruit and a high-density planting of fruit trees to grow mangoes, which usually require 100 liters of water per day. He chose dragon fruit because it requires less water, can thrive in dry areas, and is a low-calorie fruit. Through relentless experimentation, he now grows dragon fruit on 50 acres.

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Harsh also grows off-season strawberries and broccoli using fan and pad technology to control the climate. He uses automatic drip irrigation system and also practices organic farming.

3. Preservation of agricultural heritage

Mahan Chandra Bora started the Annapurna Rice Library in Jorhat
Mahan Chandra Bora started the Annapurna Rice Library at Jorhat

Mahan Chandra Bora, a rice farmer, wanted to educate people, especially the younger generation, about India’s rich diversity in rice and other crops. Shocked by the extinction of many indigenous varieties, he started the 'Annapurna Rice Library’ to preserve the vanishing heritage of his forefathers.

When he started farming, he researched and cultivated various indigenous rice varieties in his field in Jorhat, Assam. Due to financial constraints, he was unable to complete his Ph.D., and spent his time searching for studies and articles on seed saving and endangered rice varieties.

First, before setting up Annapurna, he set up a rice farming library at home, where more than 500 seeds were preserved and grown organically. Farmers can go to the library and get the seeds they want. He is conducting awareness classes in schools, all with his own funds.

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If her work interests you, Mahan is currently seeking funding and volunteers for her library. He can be contacted at 91270 69446.

4. Sustainable post-harvest conservation

Vaibhav Ditke developed a solar dryer for storing farm produce
Vaibhav Ditke developed a solar dryer for storing farm produce

Vaibhav Ditke, a farmer’s son says the post-harvest loss of fruits and vegetables is 60 million tonnes.

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The engineer developed the solar dryer using patented food drying technology to extend the shelf life of produce without the addition of chemicals and preservatives. The dryer can be used not only for fruits and vegetables but also for meat, seafood and spices, and has been installed at more than 1,200 locations in India.

A solar dryer uses less energy than conventional dryers and refrigeration equipment, and keeps the carbon footprint to a minimum. He sells this product among others through his venture Science4Society (S4S) Technologies.

5. Shelf life development

Haryana-based Sumer Singh's 'Jugat' Innovations Extends Shelf Life of Organic Onions by 3 Months
Sumer Singh’s inventions extend the shelf life of onions

Sumar Singh from Haryana started farming using chemical fertilizers in 1999. As the health of his family and land deteriorated, he switched to organic farming, almost eight years ago.

Now, he not only grows vegetables, pulses, chickpeas and millets in his 14-acre farm, but inspires other farmers to do the same.

Singh started to increase the shelf life of his products through innovative methods. For example, he harvests 80 quintals of onions per acre to mulch his onion fields to keep the soil moist for longer.

Instead of stacking onions, he hangs them in bundles like bananas, which limits spoilage. This will keep them safe for three to four months. Similar innovations are followed for each crop to naturally increase their shelf life.

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6. Bio-fertilizer for improved yield

LCB bio-fertilizer is an innovative start-up
Akshay Srivastav developed bio-fertilizer to increase agricultural production

Akshay Srivastav saw his father, a farmer in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar, face many problems, including poor yields and poor soil quality, due to excessive use of chemical fertilizers.

He pursued chemical engineering to find a solution to improve agricultural yields. The 24-year-old later developed a bio-fertilizer that, according to him, would help increase agricultural production by 35 percent, helping 3,000 farmers across India.

Bio-compost contains 60 species of microorganisms that increase nutrients in the soil. He also developed a pellet that increases crop yields and reduces irrigation needs by more than 30 percent.

He started selling this bio-fertilizer under the brand name 'Navyakosh’ in March 2021 through his startup 'LCB Fertilizers’.

7. Innovation in irrigation

Malesh D launched CultYvate, an agricultural technology platform that helps farmers measure the water needs of crops.
Malesh D launched CultYvate, an agricultural technology platform to help farmers measure the water needs of their crops.

Due to lack of proper irrigation technology, farmers waste gallons of water in paddy fields. Malesh D, from Mandya, Karnataka, saw his grandfather and other farmers using more water than needed, leading to flooded farms and fungal diseases.

He launched 'CultYvate’, an agri-technology platform, to help such farmers sit at home and measure the water requirements of their crops. The technology helps to understand when to irrigate, so that the crop is not always submerged in water.

Through his site, he claims to reduce water use on farms by 40 percent and increase their yields. „Our technology helps farmers analyze changing climate conditions and plan their farm cultivation,” says Malesh.

Edited by Pranita Bhatt

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