Nearly a quarter of Delhi’s air pollution in the winter months is due to the burning of paddy/rice straw. 80% Is burned on the fields, due to the lack of cost-effective technologies and knowledge. Sonalika’s Happy Seeder technology can improve air-quality and raise farmers’ income. Help us scale-up!
About Sonalika International Tractors Ltd.
Sonalika International Tractors Ltd. (ITL) is the country’s 3rd largest manufacturer of tractors ranging from 20HP to 110HP. Today, Sonalika ITL is recognized in both domestic as well as international market as a formidable player. The company has earned the trust of over 600.000 customers in more than 80 Countries in just 2 decades.
Sonalika Group has been a pioneer of various social causes long before the concept of CSR was introduced. Sonalika has been working for social causes for the last 13 years. The Sonalika Social Development Society is the CSR wing of Sonalika Group and leads all CSR-related activities.
Air pollution and bad soil
Using current harvesting and threshing machinery, about 34 million tonnes of rice crop residue (straw) is produced in the north-western states of India each year. This paddy straw has to be taken of the field within 10-20 days. The lack of access to user-friendly, cost- and time-effective solutions leads to burning of 80% (estimated 23 million tonnes) of the rice left-overs, thereby contributing to nearly a quarter of Delhi’s air pollution in the winter months. This is a public health hazard every year. Additionally, the soil is deteriorating and loses nutrients, which lowers long-term agricultural productivity. Millions of farmers are at risk.
New regulations have led to less burning of paddy straw, but this is not enough. Farmers need a way to give value to this organic waste, addressing long-term sustainability, profits and practicality.
Long-term benefits with the Zero-till Happy Seeder
Together with our partners, we have developed a specialized ‘zero till’ seeder machine (Happy Seeder). This machine cuts (hits/shears) the standing stubbles coming in front of the sowing part, places new seeds in the ground and leaves the straw on the side. Farmers need less equipment, use less water, have more fertile soil and generate more value!
One pass of ‘zero till’ reduces farm equipment labor by as much as 80 percent, replacing as many as 5 passes of harrow, disk, seeder and plow in conventional tillage approaches. With the Happy Seeder, it is possible to sow the wheat right after rice harvest (in about 10 cm of water).
The economic benefits of adopting sustainable farming practices such as the ‘zero till’ approach are significant for the farmers. While improved yields of modest amounts (2-8 percent, as evidenced by most studies) are possible, the real long-term benefits in soil health, reduced water use will be important to the livelihoods of an estimated 10,000,000 landowner/farmer families in the region.
Research shows that particularly during droughts, Happy Seeder’s ‘mulching effect’ keeps the soil moisturized and may thus make the difference between a healthy crop and crop failure. The process therefore also reduces irrigation and herbicide use.
We developed this technology together with the agricultural research community: ACIAR (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research), PAU (Punjab Agriculture University), CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center), BISA (Borlaug Institute for South Asia) and ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) and machinery manufacturers such as Deshmesh Mechanical Works.
Happy Seeder’s impact results so far
In the Karnal district of Haryana, where the project is being implemented by Sonalika Social Development Society, CIMMYT and BISA, the results have been highly positive. The majority of service providers have felt that the yield in the region has increased by using this technology which has the secondary effect of increasing the income of the farmers, together with saving water. They also feel that the use of Happy Seeder has addressed the problem air pollution, along with improving soil health. This pioneering project was led by Sonalika Social Development Society to address an issue that although problematic for the country, had never been acted upon in such a large and coordinated manner. Sonalika looks forward to continuing its work in this area increasing implementation as well as looking for new and improved solutions.[MX1]
Help Sonalika scale-up
At present, more than 2000 machines of the new improved designs are in regular use and the equipment is ready to move from research to implementation phase of adoption. Sonalika Social Development Society is now reaching out to corporates and farmer cooperatives for scaling up and replicating the residue management technology in other areas across India. Scaling up the use of the technology can provide over $130 million USD revenue to manufacturers, along with the ongoing revenue from servicing and replacement.
Please note that for this item the contact person is not the owner of the item, but the person below.
Dr (Ms.) Lopamudra Priyadarshini
Sonalika Group, International Tractors Limited