Using knowledge from Internet, Belthangady farmer comes up with novel device Gajanana Vaze, 51, an agriculturist from Mundaje in Belthangady taluk, about 11 kilometres from Dharmasthala in Dakshina Kannada district has been successful in keeping monkeys at bay this season, thus protecting his field.
The former science teacher, who is also a retired lieutenant from the Territorial Army, spends his free time surfing the internet looking for innovative and simple tools to help improve agricultural produce. He then transfers this knowledge to agriculturists with small farm holdings.
Vaze said, “I have been successful in developing a Monkey Expeller to keep simians at bay with knowledge I acquired from the internet. This has worked very well in my farm.”
Monkeys destroying saplings and fruits in the Bantwal, Belthangady, Puttur and Sullia region of Dakshina Kannada district has been a longstanding problem. They enter plantations in groups of 20-25 and have a field day. Every farmer looks for ways and means to drive them away, but most methods seem to be effective only temporarily. Vaze grows arecanut, pepper, banana and cocoa on his farm, where monkeys were creating havoc and destroying raw cocoa and banana plants.
“This is a simple method. I read on the internet that monkeys hate shrill noise. I made a collection of nearly 100 such sound clips, edited them with an application software and transferred it to a pen drive. I then purchased an audio device that runs on a mobile phone battery and fitted it on a cocoa tree. The pen drive is attached to it.
“During the season when the monkey menace peaks, I play the instrument for nearly six hours a day. By doing this, I have been able to protect my crop to a great extent.
“Since I have 100 such sound clips, one section of about 15 files, I play for 10-15 days. I keep changing the files so that the monkeys do not get used to it. It is terrible on the ears, but the protection of my crops is very important,” he said.
ARECA NUT PICKER
In addition, Vaze has also developed an areca picker machine that costs about Rs 1,500. He said, those who own an arecanut plantation end up spending a lot of time picking up the areca from the ground, especially during the rainy season.
With this tool, picking of arecanut that otherwise requires 4-5 days gets done in one day.
“I saw on the internet an instrument used to pick walnuts, and modified it to suit our needs,” he added.
Another major problem farmers face is that of animals vandalising fields in the night.
Vaze came across an article about a shepherd in South Africa who protected his cattle from lions by using lights. He also read up about a farmer protecting his plantation by using a unique lighting system. Armed with this knowledge, Vaze is in the process of developing a cylindrical shaped light with LEDs to protect farms from rampant wild boar.
To promote these low-cost eco-friendly gadgets, Vaze will demonstrate them in an exhibition to be held at the Primary Cooperative Bank this May 24-26 in coordination with the farmers’ help group Raita Seva Koota.