Kolkata, Jul 12 (PTI) A group of researchers at IIT Kharagpur has imparted training to over 2,000 farmers from nearby villages of the institute in micro-irrigation and protected cultivation structures.
The farmers, who followed the techniques of farm machineries and equipment, reported decrease in labour cost, reduced cost of cultivation, timeliness of operations, and an increase in soil fertility and production, a statement issued by IIT Kharagpur said.
The outreach programmes were organised by the department of Agriculture and Food Engineering and the Rural Development Centre to communicate, train rural people and help their transition to mechanised farming and livelihoods.
Through its precision farming development centre project, the institute has developed farm machineries ranging from micro-irrigation, combined harvester, crop and vegetable planters, solar energy operated transplanters, nut diggers and ultrasonic sprayers.
The initiative also includes non-farming livelihood technologies for rural small scale and cottage industry - such as potters wheel, making of jute ropes, door mats and rice flakes besides social impact technologies such as smokeless chullahs and rural drinking water facility.
IIT Kharagpur has extensively mobilised the funding available under national mission projects like National Initiative for Design Innovation and Unnat Bharat Abhiyan towards achieving this goal.
Director, IIT Kharagpur, Prof Virendra Tewari said, 'The government of India offers huge subsidies for mechanisation of the rural sector, but the farm machinery sector has not invested significantly in creating a market for indigenous technologies addressing the burning need of the rural sector.
'Experts at IIT Kharagpur are answering this challenge by designing technologies well suited for the livelihood of the rural class of our country.' PTI SUS MM MM