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Imphal based Central Agricultural University develops a low-cost crop washing machine

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
CAU Faculty

The Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal has created a technology that makes washing large quantities of ginger, turmeric, and other underground crops easy.

Although washing vast amounts of gingers or turmeric takes hours and is inconvenient, CAU's washer completes the task in under an hour. Dr Ngangkham Joykumar, Dean of College of Food Technology, CAU, Imphal, said that washing 25 kilograms of ginger or turmeric takes just about 10 minutes.

The Department of Agriculture Engineering, College of Agriculture, CAU, Imphal, created this basic and easy-to-use machine in 2017. A computer costs about Rs 22,000 (approximately). He claims it can wash 25 kilograms of ginger or other crops in around 10 minutes.

The rig is about 1 meter tall and 5 meters wide, with two drums, one of which is nested inside the other. The outer drum is made of plastic to hold water (capacity 20 litres), while the inner drum is made of steel to hold crops such as ginger, turmeric, and potatoes.

To allow water to reach and clean the crops, the steel drum has a rough surface with several holes. The unit is powered by hand, with a handle that rotates the internal drums to clean the crops. It also has a drain to drain the water and soil that has accumulated since cleaning.

The unit weights about 30 kilograms and must be moved by at least two people. It can, however, be easily mounted and run by one user. According to Joykumar, this system would help commercial farmers by saving them time and resources.

Although similar devices are available in other states, their prices are prohibitively expensive. The machines range in price from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2 lakh per item. CAU's washer, on the other hand, is a low-cost gadget, costing about Rs 22,000 per unit, according to him. He went on to say that CAU has sold 23 of these devices to farmers in Tamenglong, Pherzawl, Chandel, Jiribam, and other areas.

Meanwhile, Malom turmeric planter Soibam Indira does not have such a system and washes her crops by hand. She claims that harvesting and washing turmeric crops takes longer than planting them.

After harvest, the crops are soaked in water for three days before being cleaned and washed. The crops are then washed, which takes about a day. She said the crops are washed at least twice or three times, and that she would like to purchase CAU's washer to make her job easier.

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