This ‘BIKE’ can Climb Arecanut Trees? A Unique Innovation by Bantwal Farmer Ganapathi Bhat
Mangaluru : Having a bunch of coconut and a few arecanut trees in our home compound in Kadri, and in our plot in Merlapadau, it has been a hectic time finding a coconut/arecanut tree climber, and if we find one, it’s a fortune paying the fees for these climbers. But with no other option, we have to agree whatever prices these tree climbers charge. And since younger generation don’t want to learn the technique of coconut or arecanut tree climbing, so there are a very tree climbers in their middle or later ages who are still continuing their trade. Now to overcome the acute shortage such help, a farmer-turned-inventor has developed a manned machine on the model of a bike, through which one can scale the trees up and down with ease.
The video of the farmer’s daughter trying her hand at climbing the areca tree with the help of the machine has gone viral on social media. Meet progressive farmer and inventor K Ganapathi Bhat of Komali near Panolibail in Sajipamunnur, Bantwal Taluk has developed the manned machine to climb the tree and to spray pesticides or pluck bunches of arecanut. Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Ganapathi Bhat said, “The use of the machine was tested on his farm land on a trial basis recently, which was shot by his daughter Supriya Bhat. The video also shows my daughter using the machine to climb the tree without any problem. The use of machine to climb the tree has been widely appreciated on social media across the world”.
“I have been receiving calls even from Singapore, Malaysia and other parts of the country and placing orders for the supply of machine. The machine weighs 28 kg and has three-stroke engine. It has hydraulic drum brakes, gears, double chain, seat and safety belt. Wearing safety belt, any person weighing up to 80 kg can climb the tree within 30 seconds just by the press of a button. There is no fear of falling or damage to the tree either. Similarly, anyone can alight from the tree by switching off the engine with ease. The machine has hydraulic drum disk break. There is a handle on the model of scooter and a brake as well. Along with it, it has indicator to show petrol and oil content. The use of hydraulic drum with shock absorber in the engine ensures that there is no harm to life, even if the engine suddenly slips to the ground,” explained Bhat.
Bhat further said “The engine runs on petrol. For one litre petrol, one need to use 40 ml engine oil. With one litre petrol, you can climb 80 trees, if you weigh around 50-60 kg. On the other hand, on an average, a labourer had to be paid Rs 2,000 per day, for climbing and spraying pesticides. On an average, he climbs 35 to 40 trees manually. By sitting on one arecanut tree, one can spray pesticides to several trees nearby. The machine will provide solution to problems by minimizing the role of human labour in the operation of spraying pesticides and harvesting the crops. I have nearly 10,000 arecanut trees. I have been experimenting on a machine to climb the tree for many years. It costs Rs 75,000″.
A Challenge between Manpower and Machine Power?
“The best part is that even women can climb the tree with ease using this bike. I am planning to modify the machine to use it for climbing coconut trees as well.. Already, many firms had contacted me for manufacture the machine. I want the machine to help farmers, who are facing acute shortage of labour for activities like harvesting and for spraying pesticide. I want to ensure that the machine undergoes all stringent tests, before reaching the farmers. After the video went viral, over 2,000 people had visited my farmland and I demonstrated them the working of the machine/Bike. With this invention my only intention was that farmers should not face any difficulties in stopping farming activities due to lack of manpower. I have a feeling my invention could also be a welcoming news to our neighbour Kerala, a place full of arecanut & coconut trees” added Ganapathi Bhat.
Watch video on Youtube of Ganapathi Bhat’s daughter Supriya demonstrating the use of ‘BIKE’