Amazing Areca nut Harvesting and Pesticide Spraying Tool (Wonder Climber):
A new mechanical device that makes areca nut harvesting less labor-intensive and hence affordable could solve one of the major problems faced by farmers of the crop. This is known as a wonder climber. It doesn’t require electricity or fuel to climb up the areca nut trees and arecanut harvesting and pesticide spraying work effortlessly. Watch this video till the end to get complete information regarding this device.
Arecanut tree Climbing Machine
In recent years, labor scarcity has emerged as one of the foremost challenges in farming. One crop that has been most affected by this is the supari or areca nut. Areca nut trees attain a height of about 60 to 70 feet. It is mandatory to climb the trees a minimum of 3 times a year for a successful harvest, and twice for the preventive spray against diseases. The spraying is done in the monsoon, while harvest time is typically in summer.
Only skilled laborers can carry out these farming operations. They have to climb trees using muscle power. In an acre that has 550 trees, a laborer has to climb a minimum of 100 to 150 trees. As this involves real hard, physical exertion, younger generations of laborers are losing interest, with potentially harsh implications for areca nut cultivation.
Over the last decade, many farmer-developed spraying devices have been tried but none of them has proved to be very user-friendly. Though regional efforts to make the spraying slightly easier came to the fore occasionally, harvesting areca nut remained a completely manual process – just as it was decades ago.
However, now, 65-year-old Prakasan Thatteri of Kozhikode, Kerala has developed a successful mechanized harvesting device. With the help of a pulley and rope, this device can be made to climb tree and do most of the hard work associated with the harvesting of a particular crop.
The Wonder Climber
Prakasan, a retired government employee, is a small farmer. He has been researching this device for many years and has named it a wonder climber. The biggest advantage of the device is that it rules out the requirement of a person climbing the tree to perform the operations needed. Weighing just 6.5 kilograms, it is also easy to lift and carry anywhere on one’s shoulders.
The device can be fitted to any areca nut tree with the help of two U clamps. Once it has been fixed, the rope may be pulled to get the climber up, where it is needed. Once it reaches the tree top, the blade location has to be adjusted by pulling the rope in the necessary direction. A forceful downward pull after this makes the blade jump up and cut the areca bunch instantly. If there is another bunch ready to harvest, the blade has to be relocated and the process is repeated.
There are some disadvantages too. During manual harvesting, the laborers, after climbing one tree, harvest bunches from the adjoining four to six trees using a long bamboo pole with an attached hook. However, Prakasan’s climber can only harvest the crop one tree at a time – that is, only from the tree on which it has been mounted. But while this may appear to be very time-consuming, with practice the process can be expedited. Within five minutes, the climber can be fixed to a new tree and hoisted to the top. One can harvest an average of 12 to 20 trees in an hour depending on the height of the trees.
It is okay for a small farmer because with patience one can manage to harvest the crop without waiting for or depending on anyone.
Based on feedback from farmers, Prakasan fixed a couple of anglers beneath the blade. Once the bunch is cut, the anglers hold it there, thus saving the labor required to pick up the fallen and scattered nuts.
Within a few months of its introduction, Prakasan also developed a spray holder attachment that facilitates pesticide spraying through this device. This helps to hold the spray nozzle in it and allows it to be rotated around the tree. Thus, spraying, which was earlier not possible unless a person climbed up the tree, could now be accomplished by anyone from the ground itself.
Wonder Tree Climber Price?
The wonder climber is priced at Rs 10000. Now the Kerala government has been providing a 50% Subsidy along with this machine. If you want to buy this tool please contact Prakasan.
Also View: Tree Climbing Equipment | Arecanut Tree Climbing Machine