Commodities

When Railways aids in paddy harvesting

A J Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on October 26, 2020 Published on October 26, 2020

Apart from the harvesters, the rake also carries lorries needed for the movement of harvesters from one field to another

Harvesters move on rakes to destinations in Karnataka, Telangana

Chinna Salem region of Tamil Nadu is a familiar name for many paddy growers in Karnataka and other parts of the country. Farmers get paddy harvester machines on rent from this region when their crop is ready for harvesting.

Till last year, the operators of these machines were travelling in their own lorries to various parts of the country for harvesting. However, a portion of them is using the services of the railway network this year for transporting harvesters and lorries.

PV Manoj, Divisional Commercial Manager of Salem division of Southern Railway, told BusinessLine that Chinna Salem region has around 3,000 paddy harvester machines. The operators of these machines travel to different States — Odisha, West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh to carry out activities related to paddy harvesting. They were using the road network to transport their harvester machines all these years.

In mid-October, Salem division transported over 80 harvester machines from Chinna Salem to Nalgonda in Telangana. Recently, it transported around 100 harvester machines from Chinna Salem to Surathkal in Mangaluru districtof Karnataka. Apart from the harvesters, the rake also carries lorries that are needed for the movement of harvesters from one field to another.

Cheaper and effective

Kempe Gowda, Joint Director of Department of Agriculture, Udupi, told BusinessLine that nearly 90 per cent of farmers in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts use harvesters every year. Both the districts have around 50,000 hectares of land under paddy cultivation. Harvesting season starts early in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts when compared to other parts of the State, he said.

Every year, almost 300-400 harvester machines are transported from Tamil Nadu to Karnataka. After finishing their work in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, these operators travel to other parts of the State.

Manohar Shetty, an office-bearer of Dakshina Kannada unit of Karnataka Rajya Raita Sangha, said that the transportation through the railway network would work out cheaper for harvester operators as it will save them the fuel cost and bring down wear and tear of the vehicles to a great extent.

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Published on October 26, 2020
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