Winnowing made easy

A simple technology is now available for separating grains from chaffs

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Now the hands can rest (Credit: UN Photo)WINNOWING, the process of separating quality grains from chaff, is a crucial process in the cultivation of paddy. The traditional way of winnowing is making the dried grains fall from a height using shovels and a sieve. The quality grains which are heavy fall vertically while the weightless chaff and straw get blown away by the wind. Thus, winnowing is effective only when there is a wind. Farmers often have to wait for hours for the wind to blow before they could start the process of winnowing.

Taking this into account, a simple winnowing machine has been designed so that farmers no longer have to depend on natural wind to begin the process of winnowing. The machine has a fan which can be rotated by pedalling and the velocity of the wind generated can be controlled by the speed of pedalling.

Soon after the fabrication of the machine, a demonstration was held at Athoor village in Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu, and farmers received the machine with enthusiasm. Approximately 300 kilogram of paddy can be winnowed in one hour and the machine can also be operated in a closed corridor or a big hall and therefore winnowing can also be done during the rains.

Scientists are trying to make further improvements on the machine which costs Rs 3,000.

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