R & D on Low-Cost Technology



SRT Bamboo Spacer

Traditional rice cultivation practices include ploughing, puddling and transplanting of seedlings from nursery to the actual farm. To avoid this tedious method of rice cultivation, Mr. Chandrashekhar Bhadsawale has developed Saguna Rice Technique (SRT) that allows farmers to cultivate rice with minimal efforts. In this method rice is planted on raised beds having width 1 meter and keeping specific distance between two plants i.e. 25 cm x 25 cm. To achieve desired spacing between rice plants, marking is done using specially designed iron frame. After preparation of beds this iron frame is imposed on bed to create holes at specific distance.

Due to remoteness of villages in Gadchiroli district and lack of fabrication shops there, it is difficult to manufacture iron SRT frame. At the same time, plenty of bamboo resource is available in most of the villages. Considering this situation, Science and Technology Resource Centre through its Research and Development initiative, has developed Bamboo Seed Spacer that will replace iron frame in SRT.

This Bamboo Seed Spacer is manufactured completely out of bamboo. All bamboo members in the structure are arranged to achieve sturdiness and to sustain various forces while using it. Series of field trails was conducted to improvise the design and necessary changes were done in dimensions as well as in structure. Current version is foldable and lightweight i.e. 7-8 kg, thus easy to carry from house to farm. Length and width of the instrument is 1m x 1m while height kept is 80 cm considering ease of using handles. One acre land can be covered in just 4 hours as this instrument creates 20 holes at a time on other hand traditional method used to take 2 days for the same task. Handles, foot rest and other parts are ergonomically designed to avoid bending and make it user friendly. 40 farmers in 5 villages are have already adopted this new tool.

Bamboo Seed Spacer can be manufactured using simple hand tools like knife, file and hand drill machine. Youngsters in the village having basic ability to use tools can manufacture it on their own. Iron frame costs around 1500 rupees whereas Bamboo Seed Spacer can be manufactured in less than 1000 rupees only. Currently Science and Technology Resource Centre is producing Bamboo Seed Spacer in Common Facility Centre at Kondawahi through its trained bamboo artisans. It is made available to farmers at 50% cost with a hope to make it part of rice cultivation practice in the region.

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