A bike is enough to cover 90 Areca Nut trees at a time and economical. Getting popular internationally too.
Approximately 58% of India's population relies on agriculture for employment. The industry contributes 17% to the absolute GDP and employs more than 60% of the population. Ranchers can benefit from any development in this area, whether natural cultivating improves harvests or some machinery that would assist them on the field. Climbing trees is fundamentally one of the most challenging tasks. The Agri industry believes that climbing trees to spray pesticides or pluck coconuts is incredibly difficult.
Ganapathi Bhat, 60 years old from Karnataka, has created a climbing machine called Areca Bike to solve this problem. Born in Komale town, Karnataka, he produces his bicycles on a two-fold chain with tension-driven drum brakes. One liter of gasoline will allow a rancher to climb 90 trees, according to Ganapathi. Furthermore, the bicycles are selling quickly at the moment. He has sold almost 1,000 bikes in the past seven months. In states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh, working conditions are dire because of a lack of workers. Ranchers have benefited from the use of this equipment.
Faced real challenges
Having completed a degree in agricultural science, Ganapathi Bhat began rehearsing coconut and areca nut products on a 14-acre piece of land he owned as a tribal man in 1991. Over time, his productivity and earnings decreased. He lost half of his yearly income in 2017, and it was worse than that. A lack of dependable labor and late tree care contributed to the failure of the harvest. Ganapathi further added, "Lack of workers then adversely affected the proper times for spraying pesticides, as is required." In addition, the cost of the work increased manifold. Each worker charges Rs 2,000 per day, which means that Ganapathi pays Rs 8,000 for four days' worth of work. This situation led him to invent a creative vehicle called an 'Areca Bike' that climbs 84-meter-tall Areca nuts in 30 seconds. A conservative and easy-to-use machine reduced costs by 20%.
Duo efforts and a plan
Modern science once triggered Ganapathi's desire to discover a machine that could do the cutting, splashing of pesticides, and dealing with the areca nut trees. To explore his idea, he approached his friend Sharvin Maben, who operates an automotive garage. Additionally, he often served as a mechanic for him as well as basic learned machinery. He had yet to decide on the ultimate result when they came back with another machine. In a year, the pair devised a gadget that could climb trees while also spraying pesticides. The two friends spent an additional two years on their invention, and in 2020 they designed the remarkable machine that could carry 80 kilograms. Bicycles weighing 28 kilos came with numerous features. One liter of petroleum will climb 90 trees, it is not hard to convey, it costs Rs 59,000, and it offers a one-year guarantee. It has a two-cycle motor, pressure-driven circle brakes, and two-fold safeguards. The beginning with the areca bike was quite functional.
Eventually, the tires skidded because they couldn't get a solid hold. It became a high-risk venture. The tires Ganapathi used had different grooves that were appropriate for gripping the tree branches. Ganapathi instantly fell at least eight times." The burden was all on one's shoulder during experiments. After that, the tires slid, causing bruising and damage to his body. Ganapathi recalls a specific incident in which he almost broke his knee, which prompted him to call for an ambulance beforehand. "Whenever I began my tests for the day, my daughter Supriya would call emergency services. Following experimenting with 18 different types of tires, he settled on a molded one.
WHY Areca bikes?
Ganapathi describes how the machine works, saying it consists of two tires and a roller that link together to grab the areca nut trunk. A fuel tank lies beneath the operator's tiny chair. By pulling a lever, you can control the speed and brakes of the car. Carrying the trunk on a motorbike doesn't require any hand effort. Hydraulic brakes provide additional safety. This areca bike scales an areca nut tree in just a few seconds without stressing the climbers, whereas an individual cycle takes approximately 5 to 8 minutes. As well as being secure, it can also move. This bike has proven cost-effective and reduced labor efforts as well. Farmers used to labor the entire week because the traditional method was to prune small trees each day. One person can now do the job of four people.
Ganapathi is now receiving international calls from Singapore, Malaysia, or other countries and has approved the delivery of the vehicle. Even ladies can ride this motorbike up a tree comfortably. Ganapathi is intending to improve the bike further so that it can ascend coconut trees too. Numerous companies had already approached him about producing the equipment.
Ganapathi aims to assist ranchers with bikes across the nation who are experiencing a severe unemployment problem for operations such as harvesting and pesticide treatment. Approximately 2,000 people came to his farms just after the video was posted, and Ganapathi demonstrated how the bike worked.
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