Name of Innovator: Sanjaybhai Tilwa
Address: Akshar Agro Engineering, Survey No. 257, Jain Steel Road, Nr. Rangani Engineers, Shapar (Veraval), Dist. Rajkot, Gujarat
Email Id: email@example.com
IPR Status:Patent filed status: 528/MUM/2013
Sanjay Tilwa is a manufacturer of agriculture implements, made a novel groundnut digger, which helps in digging out, uprooting, and cleaning the groundnuts (peanuts), followed by many different implements like garlic & turmeric digger. His father is a retired school teacher, while his mother is a housewife. Other members in his family include his wife, son, brother, and sister. Talking about his childhood, Sanjay mentions that he could not do well in studies in higher classes due to a lack of guidance in his village. He later went to Junagadh, where he completed his B. Com while doing part-time jobs to cover his expenses. In 2003, after his graduation, he returned to his village and engaged himself in farming. After a few years, he got restless and started planning to deal in agricultural machinery. Later, he started his firm Akshar Agro Engineering in Rajkot. He was supported under the Micro venture Innovation Fund under GIAN-SIDBI collaboration.
Salient Features of the groundnut digger:
This is a tractor-mounted PTO-powered machine with a telescopic propeller shaft suitable for tractors of 35 HP and above to dig out and uproot the groundnut. Groundnuts are uprooted from the soil with the help of the machine’s harvesting blade (V-shaped). The blade has been hardened by treating at a very high temperature in oil and can work in different kinds of soil. It has an adjustable width, and the penetration angle can be varied. The uprooted groundnuts are conveyed from ground level to a higher level for collection using a conveyor belt. The belt keeps vibrating as a result of which the pods get cleaned off the attached soil. Opening the collection box forms the spread bed of groundnut for drying.. Though the machine’s productivity depends on the type of soil, on average, the machine can harvest about 0.2 ha per hour. This machine combines the digging, cleaning and drying. Other alternatives commonly used are a single offset beam digger and the manual pulling of groundnut. In the latter, three to five persons are required to pull out plants, which have been dug, and additionally, other processes such as cleaning (removing soil from plants and pods ) have to be done manually. In the single offset digger, digging is done mechanically, and subsequently, the pods are collected manually. This machine saves considerable labor, operating time and cost of operation compared to conventional methods. Moreover, this one machine can be used in different kinds of soil. The testing of the device was done at CAET, Junagadh Agricultural University, Junagadh, where the results were found to be appreciable.
Challenges: Sanjay has five acres of cultivable land where mainly groundnut is grown mainly. While working in the field, he observed the difficulties faced by farmers to dig the groundnut. High labor costs and lack of availability of labor often resulted in substantial losses.
Overcoming the Challenges: It was sometime in 2007, Sanjay decided to develop a device to dig groundnuts. Initially, he made a hand-operated plow, but its efficiency was quite low and labor-intensive. Then he developed a tractor-operated plow using which he observed that the groundnut pods got broken or were left in the ground. Working persistently, he was able to develop a prototype in 2009. After its trial, he just had to add two wheels under the conveyor for vibration, and the machine was able to do what it was designed to. He mentions the testing period of development that it was important for him to believe in himself and his concept even though the initial results were otherwise. His elder brother and one of his friends supported him by sharing their feedback and suggestions.
Future aspirations: Mr. Sanjay Tilwa has started selling the groundnut digger and has managed to sell a few units. It seems to have good potential in the market as per the feedback from farmers as well as experts. While working on the ground digger, Sanjaybhai also realized that he needed to diversify as this machine had a season-based demand, he needed to diversify. This made him develop another innovative tool – the reversible plows, which are also attached to the tractor. He has made different models of these ploughs viz. manual, machine, hydraulic operated, and a few more. He started selling them a few months back and has managed a decent sale since then. Presently, Sanjay is actively engaged in fabricating and improving the digging machine, which he plans to make suitable for multiple crops.
Awards and Honours: 7th National Grassroots Innovation awards in 2013.
Help is needed on:
1) Launching his product outside India by identifying regulatory requirements and local entrepreneurs who could take it up there.
2) Provide better services to customers by contacting expert mechanics and developing videos about preventive maintenance.
3) Working out supply chains that can deliver this machine to them at low cost
4) Connect the more advanced mechanics and tools with the innovator for better manufacturing practices.