Traditionally, harvesting of groundnut was done manually as no proper harvesting machinery was available during early eight’s. Manual harvesting is labour intensive, time consuming and boring fatigue for labour especially family labour. Reportedly this was one of the main bottlenecks for increasing acreage and per unit crop production.
Technology Development, Demonstration and Recommendation
During 1982-83 FMI started the development of a tractor mounted digger for groundnut harvesting. After continuous efforts for couple of years, a prototype machine was developed. It was a simple machine, consisting of main frame, horizontal blade and two depth control steel wheels. It was a tractor mounted machine. Draft is used to pull it through the soil during field operation. Digging depth is controlled with two depth wheels by tractor hydraulic system. Machine was successfully tested at farmer’s fields in Punjab, sindh and Frontier Provinces. Effective field capacity of machine was found to be 0.70 acres per hour. Power requirement is 35 to 45 Kilowatts tractor. Operating cost is about Rs. 500 per acre. The technology has been extensively field demonstrated in groundnut growing areas of Pothwar and other parts of the country in collaboration with BARD Operational Research Sites in Punjab & NWFP and BARI Chakwal.
The recommended groundnut digger is simple to understand, easy to operate and effectively can be used in sandy and/or loose soils. It is not much effective in hard and clayey soils. Recent groundnut field survey indicated that majority of farmers are using FMI Groundnut Digger for harvesting their groundnut crop. Presently, more than 5 machinery manufacturers are manufacturing and marketing it. Price is about Rs. 16,000. Now-a-day more than 1000 units are in operation.
Amjad, N. (1987). Testing of Groundnut Digger in Pakistan. ARNAM Newsletter No. 22, Philippines, April.
Zafar, A. W., and Munawar K. (1986). Efforts towards Mechanization of Groundnut Production in Pakistan; Proceedings of National Groundnut Workshop held at NARC, Islamabad, Pakistan, Feb. 17-19.