GOOD PRODUCT, GOOD PRICE

Ginger takes a long time before it is finally ready for the market. As a result, after toiling for nine months, when the time comes for the sale of the crop, one is unable to fetch enough price which can cover the cost of cultivation. The fluctuation in prices being erratic, making any projections about exact profit or loss is impossible. As a result, we had to harvest as and when the market showed an upward trend. This resulted in the harvest at a premature stage, implying low yield in terms of weight, or over mature crop that resulted in lower prices. Also, waiting for the market to peak resulted in the loss of crop due to unfavourable weather conditions at times. This resulted in a feeling of utter helplessness.

Once, I thought of giving up and taking up my field of specialization: that is, Information Technology in which I had graduated. But, my inner self was motivating me to do something to change the state of affairs. I had joined some like-thinking people, we started thinking of methods to give longevity to the crop. The idea was to facilitate unlimited storage so that one could sell the product when the market peaked without having to compromise on prices.

Earlier, manual processing of ginger and turmeric had proved to be tough. As is well known, farmers face labour problems. To have a product of the best quality, skilled labourers are a must. But getting them is extremely difficult. Employing unskilled labourers is certainly not the solution.

To deal with these circumstances, we have come up with a machine which not only reduces dependence on skilled labourers but also reduces the requirement of the number of labourers to carry out the task. Processing a greater quantity of the product is made possible, and more importantly, it is possible to have better quality at a much lower cost.

BENEFITS OF THE MACHINE
– Less dependence on labourers.
– More quantity can be processed in less time compared to the manual process.
– Farmers can get uniform quality of the product.
– Operating the machine doesn’t require skilled labourers. It can be operated by anybody.
– Processing with the machine decreases wastage.
– The machine is portable and can be fixed anywhere.
– The cost of the machine can be recovered in
the first year itself.
– The machine is almost maintenance-free.

If farmers in rural India adopt this machine, it can have a positive impact which improves their standard of living. But, the real revolution can happen only when the en!re farmer community adopts the idea. If people adopt this concept, they will stop being dependent on fluctuating market prices. That, in turn, will not only enable them to get much better returns but also help them process a larger quantity. This can also open up avenues for export whose tremendous potential hasn’t been tapped yet.
One year of trial and error is what it took to develop this path-breaking machine. And each trial and error incurred a cost of about one lakh. However, once the design had been finalized and tested, it cost us Rs. 35,000 to make a new machine which can be delivered in around two months.

If used in the right manner, the machine’s potential is huge. It is not out of reach for the average farmer and doesn’t take much time to develop. Once many more people adopt it, it will attract expert technical professionals who can make it more user-friendly and more productive. This can make the farmer a lot more confident and resourceful.