Excess use of pesticides is a major challenge to propagate sustainable agriculture in India. Apprehensive of pest attack and crop diseases farmers use pesticides indiscriminately without thinking about its harmful impacts on the environment and human health.
Manoj Kumar Patel, a young and enthusiastic scientist from department of Agrionics of, Central Scientific Instruments Organisation, Chandigarh, has developed a technology that controls the use of pesticides by making the spraying technique more efficient.
The technology consists of an electrostatic nozzle that can ensure uniform pesticide spraying and make a limited volume of the chemical more effective for better crop protection with good grain quality and increased yield.
For this endeavour Patel has received the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award 2016, from SRISTI, (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions). The technology transfer took place on October 16.
While pursuing his post-graduation and studying about the crop protection and the related loss endured every year by the farmers, he probed the reasons behind this and decided to develop advance spraying equipment that is efficient and eco-friendly. He chose it as his PhD thesis.
The conventional system of spraying pesticides involves using hand pressure swirl nozzles and bulky knapsack. It is a manual operation. While about 30 percent of the pesticide reaches the target crops, the rest is wasted polluting the environment.
“The high voltage applied to the electrode creates a high electrostatic field around the liquid surface, developing a thin mist of negatively charged droplets which surround the crops. Application of the pesticide from the front covers the leaves at the back as well. The technology is efficient, cost effective and environment friendly.
For a period of about eighteen months Patel and his team spent their nights and days in the laboratory to turn this innovation into reality. He credits to his mentors (Dr. C Ghanshyam and Dr. Manoj Kumar Nayak) and teammates (Ms. Sudeshna Bagchi, Mr. Hemant Kumar Sahoo, Bushra Parveen) without whose contribution and support he would not be able to complete this work in the short time-span.
The product has been commercialized by M/s Jagatsukh Industries, Ludhiana and will soon be available for use in India and other developing countries.