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EQUIPMENT

VST Tillers launches four-wheel tractor with seed drill to cultivate ragi
Friday, 09 June, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Bengaluru
Realising the need for mechanised equipment to improve productivity and efficiency, Bengaluru-based VST Tillers has launched a compact four-wheel-drive tractor with a mounted seed drill for the cultivation of ragi, the staple food of rural Karnataka.

The implement, which is a first of its kind in the country, solves the problem of finding farm labour, which is attributable to their large-scale migration to cities, and makes ragi cultivation easier for small and marginal farmers.

They had been almost left out of this transformation, going by their inability to afford the equipment. These farmers were dependent on manual or animal labour to fulfill farming needs.

The four-wheel-drive compact tractor, combined with the national seed drill, has become available after field trials by VST Tillers and testing by the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bengaluru.

“Ragi is sown for a depth not more than 2.5cm for proper germination. The use of big tractors which dig deeper have not been conducive for germinated seed emergence and growth,” stated H G Ashoka, professor and head of the department, agricultural engineering, UAS.

With the launch of the compact tractor, VST Tillers is taking the mechanised farming of ragi to the next level. While there have been a wide range of post-harvest equipment, the right combination of seeding and weeding machines was not available, thus affecting productivity.

Indian agriculture is undergoing a sea change with increased mechanisation, driven by various factors such as migration of farm labour, new and improved methods of cultivation, enhanced interaction between agricultural scientists and farmers and government policies, giving emphasis to mechanisation for increased productivity.
 
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