Bhubaneswar, Jan. 10: Students and faculty at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar here have designed a high-end gender friendly maize sheller to help maize-growing farmers of Odisha.
The equipment will help farmers, particularly women, to shell maize and separate the corns faster, better and with less wastage.
The directorate of agriculture and food production in July last year had approached IIT Bhubaneswar to design a mechanised maize sheller for farmers.
“There were already two to three varieties of maize shellers available in the market but lacked efficiency,” said Arun Kumar Pradhan assistant professor (mechanical).
The team from the school of mechanical sciences of IIT Bhubaneswar decided to redesign the equipment so as to increase their efficiency and make them more user-friendly.
The major problems of the existing machines were that they were too heavy and could not be carried into the fields easily. The height of the machine was too high, making it difficult for women to feed maize into the machine, thus causing too much drudgery.
“As the women folk were the main workers at maize fields, the problem had to be fixed,” said Mihir Kumar Pandit, assistant professor (mechanical).
This apart, the machines emanated high sound and vibration causing uneasiness among the workers.
“We had to design the machine in such a way that the flow of maize in the drum could be controlled,” said Animesh Mandal.
The team took six months to come up with the re-designed sheller.