CROP-SPECIFIC HARVESTING DEVICES FOR FRUITS


Written and Contributed by

Sickle Innovations
Ahmedabad, Gujarat

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Sickle Innovations design and manufacture next-generation smart solutions for farm mechanization. Their low-cost solutions cater to the small farm (less than 2hectare) segment which contributes to more than 80% of Indian farms and has almost no solutions for mechanization.

What is the project about?

Harvesting is one of the most crucial and important steps in any farming practice. Irrespective of manual or mechanical harvesting, farming profit greatly depends on the efficiency and efficacy of the harvesting process. Crop harvesting solutions have majorly been popular for field crops such as grains, cereals, pulses etc and most of such solutions worked on similar concepts and technologies. Until recently, crop-specific harvesting solutions are in demand for horticultural crops such as fruits and vegetables because of the acute shortage of farm labour. This has opened opportunities for designers to work in such highly constrained space.

Our innovations in harvesting domain solve two major issues of non-availability of skilled labour for carefully harvesting fruits and fruit wastage because of scientifically wrong methods of harvesting. Each fruit should be harvested in a very specific way of maintaining quality and shelf life. Both listed problems directly result in lower income for farmers. This loss is highly damaging in the case of marginal landholders. Even in the case of large farms, harvesting of fruits is carried out manually.

It is often said that India is the land of small farms but it is a very less known fact that hilly regions are land of marginal farms. Labour required for horticulture crops is way too high. The average labour requirement for fruit production is 860 man-days per hectare per annum as against 143 man-days for cereal crops.

Using our harvesting tools, even casual labour can perform a skilled job like harvesting fruits. This helps them make more money and helps farmers to easily train casual labour to perform difficult skilled operations. Mangoes can be harvested along with the stalk which makes them more valuable, thus increasing the value of the crop. Climbing on tall trees and harvesting fruits is a very risky job. Labours falling from trees and breaking their bones, even fatality is very common in hilly areas. All these can be eliminated as a person doesn’t need to climb a tree for harvesting.

Sickle Innovations has developed a process to design low-cost, less power consuming harvesting designs for the crops which are most challenging to harvest. Some of their solutions are mango, apple, apricot, pears, avocado, neem fruit, seabuckthorn harvesters. Most of such harvesters are either manually operated or powered by electric motors which consume less energy.

Post harvesting products include smart saffron dryer which used patent applied weight-based cut off technology and image processing-based colour grader for apples which are designed for small farms.

Project Funded by

Sickle has received multiple grants from organisations like MSME, ICAR-IARI for development of products.

Stakeholders Involved

We develop products based on farmers’ needs.

What is the impact?

Our products have reached to more than 15,000 farmers across the country and they have earned a substantial amount using our devices.


Gallery:
Images by Sickle Innovations | © all rights reserved


Links to read more:

A link to the project.

About Sickle Innovations:

At Sickle, we focus on the problem statement and develop products which are crop-specific. We manufacture and distribute our products through a dealer network.

Our organisation has received multiple awards for the innovations in agricultural mechanisation domain. National Entrepreneurship Award 2019, FICCI business excellence award for most innovative startup 2018, Top three innovations in the agriculture domain by CII in 2018 are few of them.