Author – Abhinandan Dubey
Jugaad is undeniably an Indian approach of innovating novel, ground-breaking ideas to solve day-to-day problems. The spirit of Jugaad is embodied in the ability to work within limited resources to build something valuable. Hence, Jugaad is perhaps a promising alternative for creating cost-effective eco-friendly solutions that can offer an inexpensive and profitable product. Particularly, Indian farmers need to be extremely innovative to find cost-effective solutions, since they have to deal with a severe lack of resources in the remote areas.
Here are a few innovative ideas that have turned out to be an eco-friendly Jugaad innovations as well:
Edir – Eco-Friendly Fishing Trap
Fishing is a primary occupation in India and a large populace survives on it. Even in the hinterland, fishing in the rivers and streams provides much needed food and resources. The Galo, a tribe in Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India is adept in fishing in not one, but many ways. The tribe’s tools and techniques are completely eco-friendly too. The common fishing tool used by Galos named ‘Edir’ is made from locally available bamboo material.
Edir is a skillfully designed fish trap in the form of basket used to catch fish swimming in streams. This conical shaped bamboo trap is commonly used during the lean season when the river is drying out. This method is entirely harmless to aquatic life, since it uses no chemicals nor does it trap other animals. The basket is placed in the river or flowing streams by blocking the other escape points, so that the fish get trapped in Edir fish trap. The tribal people have also been using this technique to earn revenue and have been running it successfully as a commercial business.
Oil extraction from waste Marigold plants
The oil of Marigold flower has various medicinal properties. While the fragrant yellow flower is used for oil extraction, the rest of the plant goes waste after harvest. Samar Singh Bhadauria, a high-school dropout farmer from a village in Kanpur came up with an out-of-the-box thinking to extract oil from the plant’s stem as well. He plucked the marigold flowers from his field and processed the entire marigold plant for oil. Bhadauria was able to obtain 2-2.5 kg of oil from every 1 ton of marigold plant he processed. Amazed by the results, he consulted agricultural experts for verifying the extracted oil for its purity.
Inspired by this result, Bhadauria established two more processing units, each of one ton capacity. Under this process, the marigold plant is used for processing for the oil extraction, once the flowers of plants are plucked. The oil extraction technique involves shafts and input procedure for extracting oil from marigold’s stems and leaves, which are generally thrown away as waste and thus, generates extra income. The residual processed material is utilized as organic manures and mulching material for other crops.
Halodu – A blessing for hill farmers
The slopes of mountains and the sporadic land patterns do not allow farmers to use tractors to sow or weed on a large scale. Adding to their woes is the climate in the sub-Himalayan hill ranges, which changes drastically. Raj Kumar, a resident of a remote village named Dalchera, Hamirpur district in Himachal Pradesh was another victim of these natural impediments, which exhorted him to innovate a novel means. Utilizing the second hand wheel and chimta from a wreck of his old bicycle, Raj Kumar invented a strange-looking but an ingenious tool for weeding and sowing his fields. This manually operated weeder was named ‘Halodu’, which would soon change lives of many such farmers living in hilly areas.
Halodu is not only useful for weeding operation in maize crop, but also for line sowing of maize as well as crops like spinach, sarson and coriander sown in kitchen gardens. Farmers typically used draft power for inter-crop operations in maize. Due to the deteriorating practice of bullock rearing by most farmers, there was a necessity of some low-cost technology as the use of tractors was too costly and less effective in hilly areas. Halodu is not just a cost effective innovation that helps farmers, but also helps in preserving the natural landscapes by avoiding the use of tractors that emit harmful green house gases.
Stethoscope in agriculture
A Stethoscope is generally used to detect the heart beat of human beings and animals. Chakradhar Pradhan of Bargarh District, Odisha innovated upon a new utility for this stool in the agriculture sector. The Root borer pest inside the plant could be detected through stethoscope. One can easily able to hear the cutting sound of the pest by keeping the stethoscope on the outer region of plant. It requires keen attention and a little patience. Accordingly the needful curative measures like uprooting, soil drenching with pesticides are taken after detection of pests for protection of the affected plants.
Stethoscope is used to detect the Root borer pest inside the plant. As a stethoscope is quite affordable, (Rs 400/- only) and simple to operate, farmers can easily use this. The farmers will definitely be benefited by practicing this innovative method. They will easily find out the pests inside the affected plant by stethoscope. Then the pests can be controlled by taking the timely curative measures. Hence, now the use of stethoscope in plant sector is highly appreciated and widely accepted by the farmers.
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The Galos have a rich tradition of bamboo art.