Rice and easy

A self-propelled paddy transplanter has been developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi. The machine uses mat-type seedlings for transplanting eight rows at a time. Gyanendra Singh, director of ICAR's Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Bhopal, claims the transplanter can work equivalent to 40 workers. Manual transplantation requires long arduous hours in muddy water that often leads to foetal loss in early stages of pregnancy, gangrene and loss of nails. Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Kerala offer a 50 per cent subsidy to small and marginal farmers on the self-propelled paddy transplanter. During trials, the machine took eight days to transplant one ha.