Successes in rural inventions, by Santosh Sinha

Monday, July 18, 2005

Mansukhbhai Jagani is not your typical inventor.

He dropped out of school at the age of 10 due to financial hardship.

After working at the family farm in India’s western state of Gujarat, he moved to Surat to work in the diamond-cutting industry there.

At 18, Mr Jagani returned to his village without much hope for the future.

But in the 22 years since, he has chalked up three inventions – a motorcycle-driven field cultivator, a seed-cum-fertiliser dispenser and a bicycle-mounted sprayer.

The appeal of the products lies in their simplicity.

Grassroots innovations are in response to a problem that the innovators feel themselves or see other people facing

Take the field cultivator. The powerful Enfield Bullet motorcycle – a regular sight in Indian villages – is modified with a cultivating device costing just $450 that replaces the rear wheel.

Compared to a tractor, which costs almost $6,000, Mr Jagani’s invention is not just cheaper but can be shared among farmers with smallholdings.
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Source: BBC News