Groundnut is an important cash crop of rain-fed areas particularly Potohar Region. It is grown on an area of 0.260 million acres with a total production of 0.076 million tonnes. In mid eighty’s, harvesting and threshing was done manually as no proper machinery was available. Traditional harvesting and threshing was labourious, time consuming and very tough job for family labour, which was understood to be one of the main bottlenecks for low national per acre yield of this crop.
Technology Development, Demonstration and Recommendation
During 1986-87 FMI initiated a project for development of groundnut stationery thresher for assisting the poor farmers. At start, a prototype machine based on an axial flow principle was designed, which was driven by a diesel engine. Prototype machine was tested at farmer’s field in Potohar and NWFP. Results were encouraging. Later on it was converted to tractor PTO. The technology was extensively demonstrated at different field sites for its commercial adaptation.
Machine field capacity was found to be 1200 kg per hour (crop intake) with threshing efficiency more than 98%. The power requirement is tractor PTO or 10-15 Kilowatts diesel engine. The operating cost is about Rs. 1 per kg of output pods. The price of machine is about Rs. 70,000. The technology has been extensively field demonstrated in groundnut growing areas of Potohar and other parts of the country in collaboration with BARD Operational Research Sites and BARI Chakwal.
The recommended groundnut stationary thresher is a tractor PTO operated machine operated on axial flow principal. It is simple to understand, easy to operate and equally good for threshing groundnut crop immediately after harvesting and minimum sun-drying. Now-a-days groundnut stationary thresher has two versions; one FMI indigenes design with air fan for cleaning and auger for output delivery and second with two separate heavy duty blowers. The new version of machine was field tested last year near Fateh Jang. The results indicated that the difference in between the output capacities of both machines was very much similar but the prices differed significantly. The price of new version is more than Rs. 120,000 rupees. Recent groundnut field survey indicated that the use of mechanical thresher is about 100% in the area. Presently more than 9 manufacturers are manufacturing groundnut digger commercially and marketing. More than 1200 units are in operation.
Zafar, A. W., M. S. Kalwar and M. T. Anwar. (1997). Design and Development of FMI Axial Flow Groundnut Thresher; Agricultural Mechanization in Asia, Africa and Latin America (AMA), Japan. Vol.28: No.1.