are in the MOST Phase I website (1994-2003).
The MOST Phase II website is available at: www.unesco.org/shs/most.
|Best Practices on Indigenous Knowledge||MOST/CIRAN|
Multi-purpose tool (SANTI)DESCRIPTION
The mechanisation of Indian agriculture is in its early stages. Human power still predominates, although it is often augmented by animal and/or mechanical power. In the Saurashtra zone of the state of Gujarat, the bullock is the main source of energy.
Groundnut is the main cash crop of the region. Work in the fields throughout the year requires more than two dozen implements varying in type and size. Farmers in this region use a multi-purpose tool which consists of a shaft to which some 17 different parts can be attached for different purposes. The tool can therefore be used for breaking up the soil, sowing, hoeing, etc.
The tool, which was developed and is produced by local artisans, is made of iron. Farmers can quickly adapt it on the spot to change its purpose. The main shaft is a hollow pipe with a number of holes, enabling the farmer to change the distance between coulters (cutters), for example, or attach a longer or shorter blade. The attachments include coulters of different shapes for different purposes. This implement has several advantages over older tools. The V-shaped iron plate used during sowing prevents soil from collecting near the seed hole, for example, and thus increases the efficiency of the sowing operation.
This multi-purpose farming tool is considered to be a best practice because it represents a contemporary, local innovation. For the farmer, it is 11 tools in one and thus very economical. Nowadays a shortage of skilled farm workers is an acute problem in this region. The tool helps to relieve this problem because it is easy to use and greatly increases the productivity of a single labourer. It also creates a friendly relationship with nature as it does not release any pollution. The rural artisans working at the grassroots level who make the multi-purpose tool benefit from the recognition they receive as well as from sales of the product.
The economy achieved by a single tool that can serve at least 11 different purposes helps to ensure the sustainability of the practice. The practice has also given local artisans a boost. Their knowledge and skills are sustained by being recognized and put to good use.
STAKEHOLDERS AND BENEFICIARIES
Artisans at the grassroots level initiated the practice. They and the peasants who use the tool are the main stakeholders and beneficiaries.
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
IT IS CONSIDERED SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE:
This practice is economical, feasible and sustainable. It can spread quickly and easily from one region to another.
SUCCESS EXPRESSED IN QUALITATIVE OR QUANTITATIVE TERMS:
The observed results have thus far been measured only in qualitative terms.
POTENTIAL FOR REPLICATION
This practice could easily be replicated elsewhere. Local artisans might require some encouragement, however.
Dr. P.R. Kanani
Gujarat Agricultural University
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