Growing your food: get to know typical farming equipment better

Health, Sanitation & Nutrition

August, 2020

Growing your food: get to know typical farming equipment better

by Harshal Khade

With inputs and photos from Sachin Barve, Virendra Kumar Dubey, Haraprasad and Satish Kadam.

Agricultural tools and equipment are an integral part of agriculture. They help farmers accomplish agriculture activities. These are instruments that are used for making the laborious work easier. These tools can be broadly grouped under land preparation implements, planting equipment, irrigation tools, harvesting equipment and tools used for other miscellaneous activities. The other criterion that can be applied to segregate agriculture equipment is manual/mechanised nature of the equipment.

For those of you who are not very familiar with farming, here are some of the common equipment used.

Farmer Damburu Malik with some agriculture equipment in Malakuta village, Chikiti block, Ganjam, Odisha

Land preparation equipment

Pickaxe /Kudaali /Kudal

It has a pointed end on one side of its head and a broad flat “axe” blade opposite. A gradual curve characteristically spans the length of the head. Pickaxe is used to dig into the soil and also used for hoeing ( to dig out difficult weeds).

Pickaxe used by a farmer in Anuppur, Madhya Pradesh
Spade/Fawde
Spade is a hand tool used to dig and loosen the soil
Plough / Hal/ Nangar
Charan Singh Dhurve in Dubsara village, Anuppur, Madhya Pradesh with desi hal (plough)

Plough is an important agricultural equipment and primarily used to turn and break up the soil.

Harrow
Traditional blade harrow

Blade harrows are used for different purposes like removal of weeds and stubbles, crushing of clods.

Cycle hoe/Cycle kolpe

The bicycle weeder is very easy to operate, and quite useful for farmers. It can be operated in a standing position, pushing and pulling. The blade in the rear part uproots weeds by penetrating the soil.

Farmer in Manik Ozar village, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra

Sowing equipment

Seed drill / pabhar

A seed drill is used for sowing seeds into the soil ensuring that they are covered by soil. 

Seed drill/pabhar for sowing in the seeds into the soil
Bullock operated seed drill in action

Harvesting equipment

Many hand tools, as well as mechanised harvesting equipment, are used to harvest agriculture produce.

Sickle / Hasiya / Wila
Sickle/Hasiya/Wila is typically used for harvesting crops or cutting of forage

Tools used for other miscellaneous activities

Farmer Pabitra Mallik is preparing the land for paddy transplantation by levelling the field with wooden harrow / mohi in Malakuta village, Odisha. The other farmer is removing weeds on the bund with the help of spade.
Axe is used to split and cut trees and wood
Spray pump
Spray pump is used for spraying agro-chemicals in dispersed form

Procurement of power tiller by farmer’s group

The diesel-based power tiller is multipurpose equipment used for ploughing, sowing seeds, etc. The farmers in Aratkheda have been enthusiastic and quick enough to be on board with the idea of Farmer Groups under the PPCP project in Jafrabad block of Jalna, Maharashtra. Two farmers group were formed in 2016. Pandurang Falke is a president of ‘Bhumiputra Shetkari Mandal’ with 16 farmers as its members. Each of the farmers contributes Rs. 200 monthly to the fund which is used for internal lending as well as to buy agriculture equipment. Members have to pay 2% interest for the amount borrowed. In December  2019, all members paid a visit to the exhibition KISAN and bought a power tiller worth Rs.93,000. It is available to all members at a nominal rate, and it is also given to other farmers at Rs. 1,200 per acre.

Power tiller owned by the farmers group Bhumiputra Sheti Mandal in Aratkheda village, Maharashtra

Upgrading and maintaining farming Equipment

These agricultural tools and equipment need to be maintained regularly and upgraded periodically so that they could last long and efficiently serve the purpose.

Organisations like the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), National Innovation Foundation, India are conducting and supporting research and development to make useful agriculture equipment available to farmers. 

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