A new lightweight and low-cost solar-powered sprayer could put pest control in financial reach of India’s small-holder farmers. The High-Clearance Solar Sprayer is a pesticide sprayer invented by Sangappa Sankanagouda, at the College of Agriculture Engineering, Raichur. The award-winning device has earned grants and financial backing for manufacture.

“My ambition is to start an industry so that I can make different types of machines and provide them to the farmers as soon as possible. Initially, my plan is to invest Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 15 lakhs (USD $14,700 – $22,100) for a small industry where other types of useful machines will be manufactured,” Sankanagouda told The Better India.

Overview of the sprayer

At 30kg (65lb) dryweight and 55kg (120lb) when loaded with water, the machine’s light weight makes it easy for one person to operate.  A future version may weigh only 20kg (45lb). It is 3m (10ft) high, adjustable to add an additional 1.5m (5ft). It can be dismantled for easy transport and the wheels have long-life tubeless tires that resist puncture.

The sprayer includes a solar panel, DC battery, DC motor and frames. At full charge, it can be used for seven hours. And as a bonus, it includes a mobile-phone charger.

The sprayer costs ₹12,000 (rupees, USD $176.8), and with a possible government subsidy it could cost ₹7000 (rupees, USD. $103.12). So far, the manufacturer has received orders for 3600 machines and expects to ship them this year.

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