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Immediate need for Mechanization of Areca Production

Higher labor requirement especially for spraying, harvesting and post harvest operations like de-husking is the major reason for high cost of cultivation in arecanut in Karnataka. In many cases, farmers face the scarcity of labor especially for operations such as harvesting and dehusking. Mechanization is not just a panacea but inevitable Labor alone forms up to 50 per cent of the annual operation costs incurred for cultivation of arecanut in Karnataka. Though formal R & D system and industry have not responded adequately towards this dire need, there are several innovations by arecanut farmers themselves and other gross root people who have tried to resolve the labor problem in areca cultivation in Karnataka. Some of these innovations like arecanut peeling machines, driers, boilers, etc., documented in Hitalagida (a quarterly journal from UAS Bangalore) which have subsequently been submitted to Government of India sponsored National Innovation Foundation for further systematization and scalingup. A Mangalore based organization called Yanthra Thantra has been striving to promote mechanization in areca Thantra cultivation by organizing regular exhibitions, workshops and meetings in this regard. Many of these innovations have high market potential and hence deserve commercialization. This also provides an opportunity for entrepreneurship development and employment opportunity for rural youth. A list of such potential innovations related to areca cultivations is enclosed in Appendix 8. A study was undertaken by Rajkumar (2006) to assess the techno-economical profiles, performance and economic feasibility of arecanut peeling (de-husking) machines innovated by five gross root people namely Mr. Narasimha Bhandari (Koppa), Mr. Ramamurthy (Sagara), Mr. Narasimha Bhatt (Bantwala), Govind Prasad (Vittala) and Mr. Viswanath (Thirthahalli). The machines designed by the first two farmers were used to dehusk red type and the next two farmers were meant for white chali type of arecanut. The peeling machine designed by Mr. Viswnath is used for both the types. These innovators, without institutional backing and financial support, developed and sold a few machines to farmers in the region. The farmers who were using these machines formed the primary source of information and the data for the study. The main findings of the study are: a) The machines in arecanut dehusking had huge economic advantage for farmers as the average cost of de-husking using machines was Rs. 479 / quintal in RBT and Rs. 434 /qt. in WCT, as against the manual cost of peeling that worked out to Rs.

Report of Special Scheme on Cost of Cultivation of Arecanut in Karnataka, UAS, Bangalore-65


3082 /qt. (RBT) and Rs. 2457 / qtl (WCT). Their usage resulted in a saving of 543 per cent and 466 per cent respectively for the said varieties. b) If made available, nearly, 66 % of arecanut farmers, especially medium and large farmers, are willing to buy these machines and nearly 67 % of the small / marginal farmers are willing to use them on custom hire basis. Farmers who made investment on these machines, could realize higher net return and higher benefit cost ratio (B:C ratio) up to 1.80. Measures needed are: a) Efforts should be made towards commercialization and scaling up of the dehusking and other machines designed by grassroots innovators related to arecanut through small-scale industries and corporate companies. b) Private sector and corporate bodies need to be motivated through proper policy measures and incentives to invest on machineries and equipments needed for areca farmers. c) Government may consider establishment of an Areca Innovation and Mechanization Centre / Institute in line with National Innovation Foundation, Ahmedabad with active involvement of R & D institutions, co-operatives, traders and entrepreneurs and investors. d) A proper intellectual regime has to be evolved so that these grass root innovators get maximum benefit from their innovation when they are commercialized. e) The co-operative institutions involved in arecanut marketing may provide loan on soft terms and subsidy to their members to buy these machines. f) Potential investors on these products can be identified during the investors meets by both State and Central governments. 6.3 Conclusions Arecanut crop is the life line of farmers in the traditional arecanut growing regions of India. Their life and culture are totally shaped by the crop due to its perennial nature using low water, contributing to impressive carbon sequestration on the one hand and to multifarious economic products on the other. It would be in order to protect the interests of arecanut cultivators especially of traditional arecanut growing regions of India as they have no other alternative crop nor farming means as yet to sustain them.
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Thus, the results and recommendations of this study should be used to protect the arecanut cropping system. Promotion of value added products upholding health and welfare of the individuals on a sustainable basis should be undertaken . The policies and programs discussed under five headings (Pancha Sutra) need to be considered earnestly to get arecanut economy out of current woes and predicament. Hence, the day has come to think and act upon arecanut of the future. Grass root Innovations on Arecanut

Narasimha Bhandari


Ramamurthy Manjappa

Narasimha Bhatt .S

Govinda prasad

Report of Special Scheme on Cost of Cultivation of Arecanut in Karnataka, UAS, Bangalore-65


Appendix-8 Grassroot innovations related to arecanut in Karnataka A. Arecanut Peeling Machines Sl.No Name of the innovation 1 . Arecanut peeling machines Name and Address of the Innovator P. Govind Prasad S/o. Mahabaleshwar Bhatt, Pidamale house, Kodangai Post, Puttur taluk, South canara dist -574243 S. Narasimha Bhatt, Palace Road, Vittla 574243, Puttur taluk, South canara dist. Girish H. Adiga. Heroor, Bramhavar-post Udupi- taluk and dist. S. Somanath Iyer C/o V.K. Hardikar, Hardikar Nursery, Koppa taluk, Chikamagalur dist M.R. Manjappa Mundigesara, Honnesara post, Sagara taluk, Shimoga dist. K.V. Bhatt, Moodody village, Aryapur-post, Puttur taluk, Dakshina kannada dist, pin574210, ph 08251-238030 S.K. Acharya, Dhoomavathi negilu industries, obhedbettu, Saanuru, Karkalla taluk, udupi dist, 574114 ph: 08258-230662 H.S. Krishnamurthy Bhatt S/o Sesha bhatt, heggadi, Tavade post, Sringeri taluk, Chikamagalore dist A.K. Hegde Giranimane village, Ummachagiipost, yallapur taluk, uttara kannada dist Vishwanath, Kuntavalli, Melige post , Thirathalli, Shimoga district. Narasimha Bhandari, Sri Durga Engg. works main road koppa, Chickmagalore dist M. Krishna Bhatt, Madippu House, Nirchal (post), Kasargod (dist), Karnataka M.M. Dongre, Kesin bailu mala (p), Karkalla taluk, Udupi dist, 574123 Vivek Alva S. Pallathadka Mane, Pallathadka post pin 671551

2 . 3 . 4 .

Arecanut peeling machines Areca peeling machine Areca peeling machine

5 . 6 .

Fresh arecanut peeler Dried areca peeler

7 .

Areca peeling machine

8 .

Arecanut peeler

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Arecanut peeler Arecanut Peeling Machine Arecanut peeling machine

B. Arecanut Collector 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . Arecanut picking tool Arecanut Picking device

Arecanut picking device (PVC) Alva S. Mane, Pallathadka (P),671551, Kerala Arecanut picker


Report of Special Scheme on Cost of Cultivation of Arecanut in Karnataka, UAS, Bangalore-65