IIT boys develop potato sowing machine

With the objective of assisting the farmer community, two students of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, have developed a unique 'potato sowing machine' that can be attached to a tractor in a farm. The machine has been designed and fabricated by Nivesh Pandya and Rajesh Kumar Dwivedi, first year students of M.Tech. in Design Engineering at IIT-Delhi, who claim there is no such appliance in the market. 'There are many wheat sowing machines available. This is the first time that someone has developed a potato sowing machine,' claim the duo, who displayed the project at 'I2Tech Open House 2009' this past weekend. Explaining the working, Nivesh said, 'Potato is produced in a large quantity in our country and it is sown manually. This machine will be a big boon for the farmers. The machine will be powered by the tractor it is attached to. Potato seeds are placed in the hopper of the machine. Through a belt and cup arrangement, the seeds are picked up and dropped in the field. The machine also has furrows, and as the tractor moves ahead the furrows will cover the soil over these seeds. The machine also has a pump to spray insecticides on the soil before the seeds are placed.'

The machine has been designed in such a way that the right distance between the seeds is maintained. The equipment is light in weight and costs INR 10,000 to INR 15,000. It can be used to sow other large-sized seeds also. 'If three such machines are attached to a tractor, seeds can be sown simultaneously in three parallel lines. Therefore, it makes the manual sowing of potatoes completely automatic and only one person is required for driving the tractor. We will file a patent for our machine in July,' said Nivesh.

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