Farmer-friendly innovations

Farmer-friendly innovations

The proverb ‘Necessity is the mother of inventions’ better explains the efforts of Girish Badragond, a young researcher based out of Vijayapura. Hailing from a farming family, Girish developed interest in making electronics and electrical gadgets when he was in primary school. In spite of his keen interest in the field of technology, Girish couldn’t continue beyond Class 10. But this did not stop him from experimenting with tools and machines. Later, he shifted to Bengaluru in search of work. Here, he continued creating simple and useful machines.

As his interest in technology grew, he decided to use his expertise to develop farm-related machinery. The first machine he developed was a borewell scanner that assessed ground water availability and its pressure and temperature. He felt the need for such a machine in 2006 when Vijayapura was under the grip of drought. After working on it for three years, Girish developed the first successful prototype in 2009. The scanner, which also measures the inflow and outflow rate, kind of water source and the direction of ground water, has become useful for farmers to check water availability in their borewells.

The device comprises a high definition camera, a digital compass, temperature and pressure sensors, a flow and depth detector, a GPS device and an LCD screen. It can scan the borewell up to a depth of 600 feet. Recognising the usefulness of this device, National Innovation Foundation - India gave him the innovator award in 2015.

Bird repeller is another device designed by Girish. It comprises eight speakers and produces different sounds scaring the birds away from the fields. Over 350 farmers have been using this device. He has also developed an automated irrigation system using solar sensors. Another important innovation is the development of a machine that regulates the water supply to the plants. He says that this system helps save up to 60% water. Girish has also designed many water saving machinery like sunlight tracking irrigation.

Apart from serving the farming community though his cost-effective and user-friendly devices, Girish also organises workshops for students to trigger their interest in such useful innovations. Recently, he participated in the Festival of Innovation held at Rashtrapathi Bhavan. Here, he was a part of the session that discussed technical devices that are appropriate for Smart Villages initiative.

He is also part of a team of six people from different professions. The team works towards popularising the use of technology in farming through awareness creation. One can contact Girish Badragond at ggbadragond@gmail.com.

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