iconimg Sunday, August 30, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Kolkata, June 19, 2013
In what could send cheers among mango growers and the legions swearing by the king of fruits, a city-based management school has collaborated with a Jaipur counterpart to invent a device for picking mangoes from trees in a modern and scientific manner. Christened Krishak Bondhu and designed jointly by students of the city-based Institute of Engineering and Management (IEM) and the University of Engineering and Management (UEM) in Jaipur, the device not only holds the promise of helping farmers pick bulk mangoes in the shortest possible time, but would also help prevent damage to a good many of them on account of the traditional collecting methods of the farmers.

The device has a 6 ft long handle attached to a coneshaped basket and is topped with clutches to hook and drag and the mangoes down. The length of the handle though is adjustable.

“A sizeable quantity of mangoes get damaged due to the traditional way of picking them with bamboo sticks. Many fall off the trees and are smashed or dented out of shape after bumping the surface. Many sustain minor wear and tear while picking,” Satyajit Chakrabarti, vice-chancellor of UEM said.

Chakrabarti said as part of an annual exercise, the students of the Research and Development (R&D) cell of both the institutions had been tasked with designing an innovative device. Putting their collective mind at work, the young innovators finally had their fruit of labour after a strenuous 10-day effort. “The device will help farmers switch to a cheap, yet effective technology when it comes to picking mangoes. We would welcome any entrepreneurial effort to set this device up for commercial production. We think the device won’t be priced any more than Rs. 150, should it hit the market any time soon,” Chakrabarti said.

Students at IEM have already put the device on trial and have been using it for picking mangoes on campus.