Farmers usually face scarcity of labor at the time of groundnut harvesting. The process required manual labor to use the conventional threshers and then collect the harvested/dug groundnut stalk. Any delay in the collection delays the drying process, leading to a loss of valuable crop. To overcome this problem, Nilesh along with his friend Pankaj, planned a device that could move around the field and pick up the heaps of harvested and dried groundnut stalks. They developed their first prototype in 2015 and then set out to improve it.
What resulted was a modified tractor mounted PTO-powered mobile automatic thresher, consisting of an endless chain for collecting pods and stalk, a threshing unit, a separation unit for groundnut pods and stalks, and a separate chamber to store groundnut pods and stalks. The device consumes 2 liter of diesel to cover 1 to 1.5 acres of land in 1 hour with a capacity to store 600 kg of groundnut and 800 kg of stalk. It has been successfully used for threshing groundnut with an efficiency of 90%. Its cost of operation is only Rs 280 to 300 per hectare and can also be used for harvesting soya bean and pigeon pea. The cost of the mobile groundnut thresher is Rs 500,000.
Nilesh was facilitated at the 15th FGI Awards for Excellence, 2018 where he received the Best innovative work award in the field of agriculture development, His innovation got financial support for marketing and prototype development under MVIF from GIAN and SIDBI.
The machine has the following features
- A conveyor belt for picking the harvested groundnut pods from the fields.
- Storage system that stores fodder and crop separately when the machine moves.
- Hydraulic system to ensure that the product and by-product (fodder) are deposited on the designated space in the fields.
- Apart from the driver who operates the machine, no additional labor is required.
- Socially, this product has potential to improve the livelihood of farmers as well as the communities at large.
- It reduces manual labor and ensures a faster lead time in threshing
- It reduces unattended wastage of crop
- Farmers also gain in terms of a commercially viable by-product
- There is no or very minimal loss in the next crop which otherwise would occur if some nuts remained in soil.
- Timely threshing leads to quality nuts and better price