Invents low-cost farming agri machinery to improve farm efficiency. Latest innovation, solar hydroponics unit for growing animal fodder
“Solar power is present in excess in our country so it is best to use it as energy to operate machines instead of natural resources that are scarce and expensive such as petrol and diesel. I don’t want to waste natural resources that are available in limited quantity and would increase the operational cost for the farmers hence decided to invent low cost agri equipment driven by solar power,” says Mr. Sharanabasappa P. Patil, serial innovator of low cost agri equipment. He hails from Halsultanpur village, Kalaburgi district, Karnataka.
Mr. Sharanabasappa studied only till 2nd PUC and later left it to become full time farmer. He grows seasonal crops including pulses, paddy, vegetables and fruits namely lemon, coconut and mango in his 5 acres’ farm. “My father was a teacher and weekend farmer as he was deeply interested in farming. However unable to give attention to the farm consistently he incurred losses. Seeing him I thought to try my hands in farming and by God’s grace I earned reasonable profits. I am into farming for past 25 years and my first invention of tap irrigation was before 22 years. Morning till evening I am in the farm while 2 hours post-evening I work on my inventions for agriculture,” he adds. Apart from solar hydroponic unit for growing fodder, few other popular inventions of Mr. Sharanabasappa are tap irrigation, solar light trap, low-cost solar fencing, millet extracting machine and low-cost motor time etc.
Speaking about the drive to invent equipment and machinery for agriculture, he says, “90 out of 100 farmers feel there is no profit in farming. It is so because there are different problems in farming. I feel most of the issues can be resolved with technology intervention therefore as soon as I see a problem I start looking for the solution and stop only when the solution is identified. Solar hydroponic is also one such solution. These days due to land scarcity land livestock farmers find it tough to grow fodder for their farm animals and purchasing the same from market increase the cost therefore this solar hydroponic unit is useful in growing nutrient rich fodder.”
In the solar hydroponic unit, 5 kg fodder is produced from 1kg seeds in 8 days. Approximately 30 kg fodder can be harvested every day. There are 72 trays in the unit. Farmers can plan the fodder production as per their requirement. The unit has a DC motor powered by solar battery thus it runs for 24 hours. “I have invented the DC motor 6 months back and its performance is very good. It provides solar energy for 24 hours hence the unit functions without any tribulation,” he informs. The solar battery needs to be changed once in 3 years. It costs Rs. 4,000.
Prior to putting seeds in the unit, first it has to be soaked for two days in the gunny bag. Later the sprouted seeds have to be placed in the trays. The unit has a timer and water sprayer that automatically sprays water once in every 30secs. The process continues for 24 hours and plants grow consistently. 8th day the seeds grow 1foot high. “If we do not remove the fodder after 8days, yeast forms and spoils the fodder hence fodder has to be harvested on 8th day,” he insists. 8 x 8 feet area is required to install this unit. It is most suitable for growing maize fodder. “Other seeds can also be grown but it would take little more time than eight days.” The fodder produced is absolutely organic and highly nutritive as it is grown without any use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
The entire system costs Rs. 45,000 excluding transportation and GST charges. Cost of the machine includes installation charges too. Total annual maintenance cost is Rs. 2000. One week is the delivery period. After sales service is provided on-site as well as over the phone. It depends on the intensity of the problem in the machine.
All the inventions of Mr. Sharanabasappa are sold under his company Mallikarjun Enterprises. “Primarily all the machinery and equipment invented are sold through KVK and few by direct sales. As my inventions are low-cost, these are affordable by the farmers. The profits earned from one invention is re-invested in the next innovation,” he states. As of now he has received orders of 4 solar hydroponic machines from KVK, Kalburgi.
When asked about the threat from other low-cost agri equipment manufacturers and suppliers, he clarifies, “There is no threat at all for sales because as I provide good quality machine, after sales service and keep low margins farmers come for the purchase on their own. All my machines run without any hassles for 3-4 years. Further, I am not inventing the machine only for money or business but I want to improve the farm efficiency. I am okay if farmers themselves make their own machines. That is why I haven’t applied for patent for any of my inventions. Innovation is my passion while farming is my source of livelihood so I never feel insecure!”
Sharing future plans, Mr. Sharanabasappa concludes, “I want to continue the present operations and inventing low-cost agri machinery and equipment to improve the efficiency in farming so that farm revenues are improved.”
Mr. Sharanabasappa P. Patil
C/O Siddu Patil CPC, Crime Section, SP Office (Police Bhavan), Kalaburgi – 585101, Karnataka
Phone: 99004 38541, 9980173977