IIT Kharagpur develops Solar-powered Pest Control System for smaller farm fields

IIT Kharagpur develops Solar-powered Pest Control System for smaller farm fields

Hummingbird News Desk

KHARAGPUR, 12 FEB: Researchers at IIT Kharagpur have developed energy-efficient pest controlling device for smaller agricultural tracts owned by marginal farmers. The research team has developed a self-propelled boom-type sprayer that can be operated using solar energy while safely guided through the crops in smaller tracts of land.

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The device is aimed to increase field capacity and uniformity in liquid spraying and also to reduce drudgery to the operator and dependency on fossil fuel for carrying out spraying in cropped areas.

Also, it leads to the wastage of chemicals due to lower control on automated spraying. Not to mention the environmental pollution due to the fuel emissions from the tractor.

About 82% of the farming community is categorized as small or marginal as per FAO with landholding less than 2 hectares [Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Govt. of India, 2019].

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With the view to improve the condition of Small and Marginal farmers and to double the income of farmers by 2022, Government is realigning its interventions from a production-centric approach to farmers’ income-centric initiatives, with a focus on better and new technological solutions.

“This is an open call to the technical institutions in India to deliver in the field of precision agricultural technologies. In the IIT system, IIT Kharagpur has the sole distinction of having an Agricultural & Food Engineering Department. Hence it is our foremost responsibility to answer this call,” opined Prof. Virendra K Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur.

The semi-automated device, developed by Prof. Hifjur Raheman, Anup Behera Rahul K and Prof. P.B.S. Bhadoria from the Dept. of Agricultural and Food Engineering at IIT Kharagpur, will address several challenges of mechanized pest control system in the small farm sector.

“As compared to conventional knapsack sprayers, the developed sprayer has a higher field capacity and more uniformity of spraying with less drudgery to the operator. It can be easily operated in the field using solar energy with a maximum speed of 2 km/h and can cover a width of 1.5 metres at a time with a field efficiency of 81% thus saving time, human involvement and chemicals,” remarked Prof. Raheman.

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