Image Credit: Mangalore Today

For numerous people, a scenery of areca nut and coconut trees posing tall against the blue skies is similar to stunning tropical travel and vast beaches intriguing with the shore. But for many people, these gigantic trees are the source of earning their daily bread.

Production of areca nut and coconut trees plays a very significant role in the economy of India. But it is also a difficult job to do, and it requires a lot of hard work, risk and patience. But when it comes to inventing the things we want for our daily work, nobody can pull it off the way we do. A couple of days back, the Brut India, a digital video publisher, uploaded a viral video on their social media platform. It displayed a girl sitting on the equipment, looking like a bike that is connected to a coconut tree and after pressing an accelerator, the equipment climbs up in a repressed action. This equipment is assembled by a farmer from Bantwal, Mangalore district of Karnataka, a 60-year-old farmer, Ganapathi Bhatt, with the help of one of his friends. Ganpathi, a science graduate, designed it on a bike and it enables an individual to settle on it to climb the tree up and down with a bit comfort.

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Karnataka used to have plenty of areca nut pickers for hire, but now, with the absence of local men, there is a major labour crisis in Karnataka. It is a truth that farmers in Southern India encounter a larger risk of falling to death while climbing the trees. In Karnataka districts like Mangaluru, Shivamogga, Udupi, Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu are well recognized for areca nut plantations but due to serious labour shortage, the farmers are incapable to harvest on time. And in a bid to solve these hardships in Karnataka, Ganapathi Bhatt has invented ‘Areca nut Tree Bike’ that will also help areca nut growers spray pesticides and harvest nuts from the trees. The device priced around Rs 75,000, includes a brake as well as a clutch for a steady action of the device while climbing the trees.

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In an interview with Indian Express, a media agency, the farmer Ganapathi Bhatt said, “I have developed this machine due to the shortage of climbers to pluck the areca nut from the trees. Using this equipment, farmers can climb and cultivate their trees. The machine has been tested on my own farm and has received a lot of appreciation”.

While illustrating the entire mechanism of his device he said, “The machine weighs 28 kg and has a two-stroke engine. Any person weighing up to 80 kg can climb a tree in 30 seconds and can alight from the tree by switching off the engine. A person can climb around 80 trees using one litre of petrol. The use of hydraulic drum with a shock absorber in the engine ensures one’s safety, in case, the engine slips to the ground.” Moreover, he said he is intending to modify the same to use it for climbing coconut trees.

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The video of Bhatt’s invention has also driven a lot of attention before on social media and has moreover earned the compliment of business tycoon Anand Mahindra who narrated the device as ‘elegantly designed with minimum weight’.

If Ganapathi Bhatt's invention will be made readily usable, it will eliminate numerous issues of areca nut and coconut plantation farmers. This device can be easily used by anyone and it will be valuable for many farmers. This extraordinary invention by Ganpathi Bhatt can motivate and empower other farmers as well.

(Source - Brut India/ Indian Express)