Acreca peeling machine a boon to farmers

Acreca peeling machine a boon to farmers

All those arecanut growers who have been facing severe shortage of labourers to peel the arecanut, can now heave a sigh of relief with the arecanut peeling machine.

The manual peeling of arecanut produces dust and time consuming. The Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Co-operative (CAMPCO) has come up with a new areca peeling machine to solve the major problem of labour crisis worrying the growers.

Many growers feel that mechanisation of areca cultivation is inevitable as shortage of agriculture workers is the main issue worrying the growers. There are no people to pick arecanut, to peel it and for various process included in cultivation.

Speaking to City Herald, Campco Managing Director Suresh Bhandary said  the machine can peel 45 kg to 50 kg of white arecanut in an hour. The power motor of the machine can be operated with single phase power supply. The machine produces less dust and noise and it is portable as it is mounted on wheels.

He said using the machine farmers can peel raw arecanut at a cost of Rs two per kg. The labourers are demanding upto Rs 6 per kg for manual peeling of arecanut. The Campco has been manufacturing the machine by outsourcing, by a firm in Mumbai.

As many as 25 growers had ordered for the machine and 15 machines have already arrived and eight have been dispatched to farmers. The farmers are seeking information on the machine. The campco has received good response, he added.

Licence

The Union Government has issued license to the CAMPCO Ltd to manufacture arecanut peeling machines. The Campco was getting it manufactured by a company in Mumbai after providing the design as it did not have license for manufacturing. With the license, the Campco can manufacture the machine at its workshop in Puttur.

He said the CAMPCO has written to the Department of Horticulture for providing subsidy to the machine. If the Government okays the proposal, then the farmers might get it at a lower price depending on the subsidy amount. In fact, the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore, had issued a certificate on its performance and has stated that the machine was 96 per cent efficient.

A grower from Jalsoor said that the labourers are demanding Rs 4 per kg of peeling arecanut in Jalsoor. At the same time, they normally tend to work slowly. “With the machine, one can peel the arecanut at faster pace. In fact, labourers in Kasargod, Kanhangad were demanding upto Rs seven a kg, for manual peeling of arecanut,” he said.

Bhandary said once the farmers purchase the manchine, then the Campco will take care of its annual service. Each machine costs Rs 75,000 plus taxes, he said.

The State Horticulture Department had convened a meeting in Bangalore on May 29 for providing subsidy to the machine. The Government is likely to take a final decision to this effect at the meeting. If subsidy was extended, farmers could purchase the machine at reduced rate. After the Campco gets all the machine delivered from the outsourcing company, the Campco will start manufacturing.

“We have already started procuring the materials needed for the manufacturing of the machine,” said Bhandary.

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