Skip to main content

The Coconut Challenge

Kerala Government seeks ideas to reach the nuts. The state’s Industry Ministry is offering a cash prize of Rs10 lakh to whoever invents the first machine capable of doing the job. The competition to invent a mechanical substitute for human harvesters is open to all, including international entrants, but the rules are demanding. The winning machine must be operated from the ground, must be capable of gathering nuts at heights of 30 metres and must be able to trim palm fronds and clean the bushy head of the tree to prevent disease. It will also have to be cheap to build and run, and be robust and easy to transport.

The competition opens officially at the end of September and will run for six months. If a workable solution is found, the Kerala state government will help the inventor to set up a factory to supply the winning device to the national and international coconut industry.

Basically it is expected that the devise will enable people to pluck the nuts without having to climb; ideally, one that will allow even women and the elderly to harvest the nuts from the ground. The state government is keen that the coconut harvesting device is available in different formats, like a low-cost model that would help a family to harvest coconuts from their homestead farm, and another for commercial application.

Your rating: None

Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.