'Farmers keen on mechanised farming'

Agri centre demonstrates paddy cultivation using machines

Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of a workshop on “Mechanised paddy cultivation” at Agricultural Science Centre in Kankanady on Thursday, he said already 10 farmers from the district have purchased paddy transplantation machine, while 10 more farmers are likely to buy the machines this year. The Centre has plans to cover at least 50 per cent of the paddy cultivation area where cultivation would take place using the machineries. As the first step, the Centre has intended to cover 20,000 acres of paddy cultivation fields this year, informed H Hanumanthappa.

He said the Centre in association with VST Tillers Tractors Ltd, Bangalore, is encouraging the farmers to form groups and buy the machines which will be cost effective.

Informing the new scheme introduced by the VST Company to promote the mechanised farming, the Company’s Divisional Manager P C Prasad said a farmer can buy the paddy transplantation machine which costs Rs 1,74,000, by paying Rs 33,000 during the purchase. “The new scheme allows the farmer to pay the rest of the amount on instalment basis. The company will make arrangements for the farmer to transplant the paddy in 50-100 acres of paddy field in his village. The machine owner has to collect Rs 2,000 for each acre and pay Rs 1,500 to the company till he completes the due payment.

Within a year the farmer can close the instalment, and then can easily earn the profit,” he said.

Demo to the farmers

As a part of the one-day workshop to the farmers jointly organised by Agriculture University, Bangalore, Agricultural Science Centre, Mangalore, DK Zilla Panchayat, SKADS and VST Tillers and Tractors Ltd, a demonstration was held on sowing the seed using mat method and transplantation of plants through Riding Type Transplanter. For many farmers who had come from DK, Udupi and Kasargod districts, it was a new experience to watch the machine sowing the seed.

The transplanter planted paddy plants within a few minutes, unlike manual work where it requires at least 8-10 labourers for the transplanting purpose.

One of the progressive farmers Doddanna Shetty Kavattharu opined that the only disadvantage of the machine is its weight which weighs three and half quintal. “If the manufacturers can replace the heavy metal with fibre or other alternative it will be more of a relief to the farmers,” he said.

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