No-Fuel Plough

A farmer in Banda in Uttar Pradesh, 50-year-old Ram Prasad upcycled an old bicycle to make a low cost plough, and then inspired his neighbours to do the same. During a drought year, he had to sell his bullock to feed his family. Without his bullock and less money to maintain tractors and such equipment, times were difficult. Realising that all these factors only burdened farmers with rising costs and no returns, he decided to find an economical way to sustain farming.

It took him seven years to experiment with various materials. He finally got a breakthrough by converting an old cycle he found in his backyard, with some pieces of iron, into a plough. With a single wheel, front and rear handles, and three diggers attached to it, the machine does not require fuel such as diesel or kerosene to operate.

Ploughs currently available in the market start at Rs 20,000, and are either manually operated, or mounted on a bullock or a tractor. But the cost only increases with bullocks and tractors. Generally, a pair of bullocks cost Rs 50,000, while a tractor costs as much as Rs 500,000. Along with that, there’s the variable price of fuel or fodder, which creates a dent in their finances.

It also costs only Rs 3000 to 4000, which when compared to the cost of a mini plough, bullocks or tractors, is a more economical option for farmers. Prasad’s innovation has caused a significant reduction in production costs. All it needs is a cycle. Plus, there’s no fuel requirement. In situations of droughts and economic crises, such an invention could change the lives of farmers tremendously.


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