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Engineering Students build multi-purpose agricultural machine

An all-in-one machine built as part of a start-up project by four students is being projected as a solution to the problem of lack of agricultural labour in the State and rising costs.

The multi-purpose agricultural machine built by the four final semester students of the St. Thomas College of Engineering and Technology at Sivapuram here can replace the use of several single-task gears being used for doing separate tasks in agricultural fields. They call the machine ‘Mannira’ and they have demonstrated that it can perform various agricultural works such as ploughing, transplanting, irrigation, harvesting, grain separation, winnowing and milling. The use of the machine is hoped to reduce costs and raise profits as it is an answer to depleting agricultural workforce.

“We hope that this machine can bring a revolution in the agricultural sector in our part of the country as it is expected to be a solution to the lack of labour and of capital,” said Abishai P.S., the team leader. The team’s cost analysis estimates that the total costs for cultivating a 10-acre land for five years using separate machines for tasks ranging from ploughing to milling is Rs. 27,08,500, he said adding that the use of ‘Mannira’ would reduce it to Rs. 6,20,500.

The other team members are Lipin N. Rijun N. and Akshay K. They said that the prototype was completed in a month working in night hours without affecting their college hours. Their professor Noel Williamson served as their guide.

They did the project by modifying a stone-cutting machine and fitted plougher blades for ploughing. The inclined plate allowed seedling plants to fall down under gravity.

A centrifugal pump attached to the machine serves the irrigation task. This harvesting trimmers and plates form a compact kit placed in front. A compact rotating fin and a compact milling machine are also attached to the machine.

“‘Mannira’ has been shortlisted for the final demo round of the Idea Fest 2018 conducted by the Kerala Start-up Mission,” informed Rahul M. Nodal Officer of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Cell of the college.


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