Gangtok: November 28, 2011
Front Line Demonstrator (FLD) of powered rotary blade rice harvester was conducted on a farmer’s (Shishir Kharga of village Samlik, Marchak) field at Ranipool. The participation of training on capacity building of extension functionaries on promotion of improved agricultural equipment and technologies in the NEH region were present on the farmer’s field along with Dr. M Premjit Singh, Director of extension education, CAU, Imphal and Dr. PK Srivastava, Dean, CAEPHT, Ranipool.
The basic feature of the mechanised harvester (Gross weight 9.5 kg engine petrol power 1.9 kw, rotary cutter speed: 5000 revolution per minute transmitter to the cutter through gear and telescopic shaft.) were introduce to the participants. The working principles were explained to the participants including tips for holding and safe operation of the machine. The field demonstration was carried out by John Pudaite (T1) in the presence of farmers of the village. The participants/farmers were helped/assisted to operate the machine for harvesting of randomly transplanted rice (pusa suagnda-2) on terrace (100 sq.m). Although the capacity of the machine was estimated to be 300 sq.m but due to the narrow terrace the work rate was found to be 150 sq.m per hour with fuel consumption 0.6 litres per hour.
The limitation of harvesting rice on elevated narrow terraces compared to the plain flat land rice field was explained to the participants urging them to get acquainted with the machine through practice operation maintaining required stability of the machine and operator on uneven terraces.
The benefit of mechanised harvesting on small terraces compared to the manual sickle harvesting was explained to the participants highlighting the aspects of drudgery reduction, timely work output and cost effectiveness with view to increase the profitability of rice cultivation/harvesting with reduced losses. What is needed is to train the farmers (men/women) for skilled and safe operation by practicing themselves to learn about mechanised harvesting at faster rate so that the field get vacated for the sowing of subsequent crops using the residual soil moisture available in situ. The introduction of the technology has created awareness to the farmers and trainee extension functionaries of the CAU Imphal.
The demonstration was live involving participants to operate and it was appreciated by the farmers and participants. It is urged that the farmers of Sikkim may visit the CAEPHT, Ranipool to learn more about the mechanical harvester through demonstration on their field. However the prerequisites (row transplanting physiological maturity of the crop without loading etc.) are to be practiced/ followed. The field demonstration with basic requirements was conducted by Dr Tapan K. Khura and Dr NS Chauhan along with staff of the Department of Farm Power and Machinery, CAEPHT, Ranipool and AICRPs centres of ESA and FIM.