Supplementing farmhands

a cut above the rest Meet Abdul Khader Nadakattin, a farmer scientist, who has made farming much more simpler with his ingenious creations, writes Har

Supplementing farmhands

Farming is increasingly becoming dependent on technology for its various needs. Exploiting this trend is one innovator, social worker, Abdul Khader Imamsab Nadakattin in the village of Annigeri in Naval­gund taluk of Dharwad district. His magic touch has transformed the lives of many hassled farmers, both in the State and outside. A farmer scientist himself, Abdul started the Vishwashanti Agricultural Centre at Annigeri.

Functioning successfully for the last four decades, the centre is working towards bettering the lives of many farmers, mainly by reducing the labour on the field. Under the brand name of ‘Nadakattin’, you can find more than 40 creative innovations in the field of agriculture today.

When Abdul was working at his own 64 acres of land, he conceived the idea of the agricultural research centre and even got help from the State Government. The Institute now has a centre at Hubballi now and employs around 100 technically-qualified people.

With only a creative streak of mind and a strong desire to help farmers, Abdul and his team at the Centre designed unique ways to handle the day-to-day agricultural problems. Their strategies and agri-equipments have been designed to enhance the social and economic well-being of farmers through skill development and usage counselling.

One of his popular innovations is Nadakattin five-in-one tiller, of which 7,224 pieces have already been sold and other 400 are in the making. This indigenous piece of equipment can perform five actions – deep digging, uprooting the grass when the farmland is wet, spraying herbal pesticides, applying fertilisers – and can be used even if the gap between the lines is four feet and can cover 20-25 acres in 12 hours.

K K Guru Basavaraj of Uttangi village of Hadagali taluk in Ballari says, “The total number of these five-in-one tillers is 71 in our village. The main reasons for its huge demand are its durability, less maintenance, farmer-friendly mechanics and easy repair qualities.”

Reducing farm labour
“If government supports me financially, I can help small-, meagre- and medium-scale farmers of the entire State. But in my personal capacity, this is what I could do over these years. We have reached Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. Many have supported the cause including Seer Tontada Siddhaling Swamiji of Damabal, Gadag and S A Patil, former vice chancellor of UAS, Dharwad,” says Abdul.

The area is known for its chilli growth and production. Hence, it not surprising that Abdul has created something to tap into that potential too. The Nadakattin Small Rotovator is apt for the sowing of chilli, cotton, wheat and maize. As Abdul puts it, on the normal field, the chilli yield per acre is three quintals in areas in and around Gadag. But using Nadakattin Rotovator, the same one acre has yielded nine quintals of chilli, thanks to its
increased strength of 5000 rpm.

If you thought his innovations were limited to the tillers, think again. The Centre has also come up with something called Nadakattin Automatic Sugar Cane Sowing Driller. Having purchased this unit in record numbers, farmers are very happy with its performance and precision. Ask Balu Annappa Sugate of Kolhapur about this and he will tell you that this sowing driller is the main reason behind providing largely sustainable sugar cane agriculture in Maharashtra by ensuring quality work conditions and reduced exploitation of the farm owners to a large degree.

What more, an automatic machine designed to separate tamarind seeds, way back in 1994, can save the toil of at least 500 labourers in a season. Thanks to this technology, even women working at the farms have witnessed an increase in their earnings – anywhere between Rs 3,000-5,000 and this has greatly improved their standard of living.
In 1985, Abdul innovated a seed-cum-fertiliser sowing two-in-one machine with a special sowing tube to save potential sowing seeds from machine injuries.

Extremely helpful for accurate sowing at proper distance for different-sized seeds, this machine has bought relief to a majority of the farmers. Nadakattin Iron Wheels, another genius innovation also has many advantages. It maintains a uniform speed while ploughing, saves diesel and even prolongs the engine’s life. S A Patil says, “The blades produced by Nadakattin have considerable wear and tear resistance and farmers get a break from constant resharpening. It also saves fuel and cost of re-hardening it is Rs 4,000 during one season and through this method, farmers can save up to Rs 400 per day.”

“We get subsidy from the government for purchase of other tillers which are less durable. We insist the government to extend the same support to Nadakattin’s research station to help farmers like me,” says a farmer.

In all, the ambitious efforts of Abdul have surely made a mark on the field of farming, bringing cheer and happiness to many. The Indian Government, in recognition of his services, honoured him with a lifetime achievement award recently. For more information, log on to www.nadakattin.in.

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