The man with the machines
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Gurtej Singh was in class VI when he dropped out of school to start learning various trades, first as a carpenter and then as a brickmaker. He eventually found his calling at a workshop on agricultural implements, which fed his love for machines.
He went on to open a firm, Chaany Agro Industries. One of the first innovations it brought out was the "grind thrasher reaper" in 2008. The machine can reap the stubble within the soil after paddy harvesting, doing away with the process of burning the field. One of his latest innovations is an automated stock harvester with multiple uses. After harvesting of paddy or wheat, it loads the grain in a trolley, Gurtej says; it also mixes the stubble with the soil, making it ready for the next sowing. This too does away with the need to burn the field.
Punjab agriculture director Dr Mangal Singh Sandhu has visited Gurtej to see his creations and assured Gurtej him he will urge the chief minister for subsidy on these machines.
"The thrashers available in the market work when the stubble has dried completely, something that takes a few days," says Gurtej, now 38. "My grind thrasher reaper can be used just after harvesting. It mixes the remaining stock still green within the soil, and after ploughing the land is ready for the next crop."
"I am impressed by the creations of this young farmer-innovator," says Dr Sandhu. "Already he has sold many reapers to farmers who don't want to burn their fields. We will surely try and get a subsidy announced."
Gurtej has sold his reapers in Ferozepur, Faridkot, Moga, Muktsar and Tarn Taran apart from Bathinda. Without subsidy, the reaper costs Rs 2.25 lakh and the stock harvester Rs 17 lakh. The harvester is an automated machine that works without requiring the farmer to use a tractor or a combine; it completes all operations itself. It not only saves time but is also a one-in-all machine, he says.
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