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Tools and equipments to reduce women drudgery

This topic provides information about the various tools and equipments available for reducing women drudgery.

Type of health hazards faced by farm women

ACTIVITIESHEALTH HAZARDS REPORTED
Farm activities
Transplanting 50%
Harvesting 26.5%
Post harvest activities
Threshing 50%
Drying 33%
Parbolining 67%
Livestock management
Shed cleaning 47%
Fodder collection 23%
Milching 27.5%

Use of improved equipments

Under the project on Reducing drudgery of women in agricultural operations through use of improved equipment , several developments were made.

Sitting Type Groundnut Decorticator

  • Design refinement in Sitting Type Groundnut Decorticator for women workers for better ergonomic performance.
  • These refinements included increase in handle length from 32 to 37cm, increase in sitting stool height from 20 to 30 cm and change in wooden base design for easy packing and transport.
  • The output of improved prototype was 30 kg/hr.
  • The women workers liked the equipment as the work could be done in sitting posture and the force required for its operation was less than the standing type decorticator.
  • This equipment has been taken up for prototype production and 55 units were fabricated and sent to various places for demonstration and use.

Naveen dibbler and Rotary dibbler

  • Comparison of heart rate responses in three types of dibbling methods for maize i.e. traditional method, with Naveen dibbler and with rotary dibbler - the parameters used for comparison were heart rate (for evaluation of work load), increase in heart rate in beats/m2 of area dibbled and output in m2/hr.
  • The output with rotary dibbler was found highest i.e. about 9- times greater than traditional method and Naveen dibbler.
  • The heart rate data showed no significant difference in the dibbling with traditional method and with Naveen dibbler.
  • But the women workers liked the Naveen dibbler as the workers carried out the dibbling in standing posture and discomfort due to the bending was avoided.
  • In rotary dibbler though the output was 9-times higher, the mean working heart rate was 141.7 beats/min (ÄHR 49.7 beats/ min) thus necessitating the subject to have frequent rest pauses.

Equipment for dehusking and pearling of ragi (fingermillets)

  • The harvested ragi (fingermillet) contains thin cover of fibrous material mainly husk and bran that needs to be removed before its utilization.
  • Presently it is done using traditional practice of pounding which is tedious and time consuming.
  • As ragi is used in tribal areas as staple food, there is a need of a suitable manual machine for its pearling.
  • A grain testing mill was selected to carry out preliminary investigation on ragi pearling with respect to grain moisture content, emery roller speed and residence time. The response of these parameters was studied on degree of polishing, husk and bran removal, broken grain and power consumption.
  • The initial husk content in the grain was determined to be 3.1% (mass basis).
  • During preliminary study trial, it was observed that with 13.2% moisture content (wet basis), the husk and bran removal increased from 3.3% to 4.7%, 3.9 to 5.6%, 4.4 to 6.6% and 4.7 to 6.6% with increase in emery roller speed from 1,150 to 1,450 rpm for the residence time of 60, 80, 100 and 120 sec, respectively.
  • However, the broken percentage of endosperm was higher at the emery roller speed of 1,450 rpm with residence time of 120 sec.

Four- Row Paddy Drum Seeder

  • It is used for line sowing of sprouted paddy seeds in puddled field.
    It consists of drive wheels with lugs, drive shaft, hyperboloid shaped drums and swinging type pulling beam.
  • The hyperboloid shaped drum enables free flow of seed towards the metering holes. In between two holes a baffle is provided for filling the drum with seeds.
  • It has 18 holes of 10 mm diameter for dropping the sprouted seed in puddled field. The holes can be plugged depending on sprouted seeds and seed rate.
  • A swinging handle is provided with the unit for pulling the seeder.
  • Drum may be filled with pre-germinated/sprouted paddy seeds to its half of capacity.
  • After filling the drum, the lid of the drum may be closed and locked.
  • The shallow ploughing/puddling of the field is required for proper operation of the equipment. After puddling excess water may be drained.
  • From next morning operate the equipment at a walking speed of 1-1.5 km/hr in the puddled field.
  • The wheel impression during the previous pass will serve as a marker for the subsequent passes.
  • During the operation of the equipment, dropping of seeds through the holes may be observed and drums may be refilled when the drum gets empty. Its capacity is around 920 m²/hr.

Tea Plucker Scissor Type

  • It is used for plucking tea leaves.While plucking tea leaves, skin of fingers and hands get injuries due to chemicals.
  • Using scissor type tea plucker hand/finger contact is avoided thereby eliminating skin problem. Its capacity is 8.6 kg/hr and has an economic benefit of Rs. 1000/unit/year.
  • The output is 40 % higher when compared with conventional method of hand picking.
  • Cardiac cost for tea plucking with this tool is less (295 betas/kg of tea leaf) as compared to traditional plucking (580 beats/ kg of tea leaves).
  • Results in 32 % saving in cost and 40 % saving in time when compared with conventional hand picking method.

Fruit Harvester

  • It is used for plucking of fruits from orchard trees.
  • The manually operated fruit harvester consists of main body of PVC having cylindrical shape. The upper end of the body is closed and fixed with two fingers cut in V-shape and with sharp blades.
  • An opening is provided on the body for entry of the fruits to be harvested. The bottom end of the body is open to which nylon net for collecting the fruits is tied. On the back surface of the body a metal holder is fixed to fix the aluminum pipe of required length.
  • The length of the cutting blade was increased from 30 mm to 70 mm to increase the comfort of the worker. Its capacity is around 420 fruits/hr. Damage to the fruit is avoided by using this tool.
  • Operation is made safer as the worker does not have to climb on the tree and the chances of injury are eliminated.

Cono Weeder

  • It is used for uprooting and burying of weeds in between standing rows of rice crop in wetlands. Two truncated rollers one behind other are fitted at the bottom of a long handle. The conical rollers have serrated blades on the periphery.
  • A float provided in front portion prevents the unit from sinking into the soil.
  • The cono weeder can also be used for trampling green manure crop in addition to weeding operation. It disturbs the top soil and increases aeration also.
  • The equipment is operated in standing posture thus avoiding bending involved during uprooting of weeds by hands in traditional practice. It has a capacity of about 120 m²/hr.Bending posture is avoided thus reducing drudgery of workers in weeding operation in wetlands.

Groundnut Stripper

  • It is used for stripping on groundnut pods. The groundnut stripper consists of a square frame of vertical legs and a horizontal strip of expanded metal fixed on each side of the frame in the form of comb.
  • The stripping of the pods is accomplished by drawing a handful of vines across the comb with a slight force. The structure facilitates its use by four women simultaneously.
  • A small adjustable stool was fabricated for the operator to sit and perform the stripping operation. The height of the stool can be adjusted from 28-40 cm.
  • This design eliminates knee pain and numbness while stripping in sitting posture at ground level.
  • The frame was provided with telescopic support legs which enable the subjects to adjust the height of the frame from the ground level to suit their convenience to avoid postural discomfort.
  • Also the hitting of the elbow against the abdomen while stripping is eliminated. Its capacity is about 11 kg/hr/women.

Sources

  1. http://agritech.tnau.ac.in/women_in_agri/pdf/index/in_agri.pdf
  2. http://agritech.tnau.ac.in/women_in_agri/farm_enter_women_empowerment_durgery_index.html
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