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close this bookIndigenous Technology Knowledge for Watershed Management in upper North-West Himalayas of India (PWMTA, 1998)
close this folderChapter 9 - Tools and implements
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentTillage implements
View the documentInterculture operation tools
View the documentHarvesting tools:
View the documentPostharvest tools and implements
View the documentMiscellaneous tools

(introduction...)

In the Upper Himalayas, varied topographic and agro-climatic conditions ranging from subtropical to cool temperatures permit the cultivation of a wide variety of crops and fruits. However, agriculture in general is handicapped due to steep and hilly terrain, hazards of climate, uneconomic scattered holdings comprising of shallow and stony soils. The tools and implements used are of a primitive nature throughout the Indian Himalayan range(s). Traditional farm tools and implements for self sustenance have been developed/modified through experience over generations to meet emerging socio-economic and farming challenges. The type of soils and topographic conditions largely influence the type, size and shape of particular tillage tools/implements. The following is a list of local tools/implements found in various regions of temperate Himalayas.

A brief discussion of the most commonly used indigenous implements are given in table 1.

Tillage implements

1. Plough: Tillage is the basic operation in farming. It is done to create favourable conditions for seed placement and plant growth. This is done mainly with a plough. A full history of the evolution of plough is not available. Farmers have been using plough since time immemorial. The primitive model might have been a crooked twig or a branch of a tree. The basic components of the plough are a shoe, a share, a body, a handle and a beam.

The shoe and body make one piece in the case of ploughs being used in Kullu, Solan, Shimla, Sirmour, Lahaul & Spiti and Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. The Joint between the shoe and the body is purposely avoided with a view to make the plough more rigid and robust, so that the implement can work on gravely soils with stones and other obstacles which are encountered during the course of ploughing. (Figs. 9.1a, b & c)


Fig. 9.1a Traditional plough


Fig. 9.1b Traditional plough

In another type, the shoe and body feature as separate parts (Fig. 9.1d). This type is particularly preferred in soils with a greater proportion of sand particles. This type of structure facilitates the replacement of the shoe when it wears out due to the abrasive action of the sand. This type of plough is used in Mandi, Chamba, Una and Kangra districts of Himachal Pradesh. In Sirmour district, the beam of the plough is joined to the handle instead of the body. This is done to provide more clearance under the beam and for easy passage over clods and stubble. The handle is 0.6 to 1 m long, 5 to 7.5 cm thick and 7.5 to' 12.5 cm wide and is fitted to the body of the plough.


Fig. 9 1c & d Traditional plough

The shoe, used in the plough, can be of different shapes and sizes. Ploughs used in dry lands have shoes which are generally of a triangular section while in wet land cultivation the shoes are of a more flat section.

The share is prepared from a mild steel bar, 0.6 to 7.5 m in length and 1.5 to 2.5 cm in width. The share is fixed to the shoe or body by means of a U-clamp or ring shaped clamp. The share point projects beyond the shoe by 5 to 7.5 cm. Beams generally vary in length from 2.4 to 3 m.

2. Yoke: The yoke has a projection at the centre to which a beam of implements like plough, leveller and harrow etc. are secured by a rope (Fig. 9.2).


Fig. 9.2 Neck yoke (jungle)

3. Leveller: The plank of the leveller is made of any locally available wood and shafts are generally made of bamboo sticks. Extra weight is added to all type of planks by placing stones on it or having person (s) ride on it. As the name suggests, levellers are used for levelling land (Fig. 9.3a & b).


Fig. 9.3a Leveller (Suhaga)


Fig. 9.3b Leveller (Suhaga)

4. Harrow: It has a wooden plank to which wood/iron pegs, handle and bamboo shaft are fitted. It is used for breaking soil crust after rain and also for uprooting weeds (Fig. 9.4).

5. Mallot: It has a wooden block to which a handle is attached. Occasionally, one end of the block is tapering. It is used for the breaking of clods (Fig. 9.5).

Interculture operation tools

1. Khilna: Its handle is made of a branch of sturdy wood and the tool itself is made of iron and is shaped like an arrowhead. It is used for uprooting of weeds (Fig. 9.6).

2. Kudali: Used for digging and weeding operations (Fig. 9.7), it is made of materials similar to the Khilna with the exception that the iron end is flat.



Fig. 4.4 Harrow (Dandal)


Fig. 9.5 Mallot


Fig. 9.6 Khilna


Fig. 9.7 Kudali


Fig. 9.8 Spade (Pharwa)

Harvesting tools:

The most common type of harvesting implement are small sickle, big sickle, darat, gandasa and small axe etc., (Fig. 9.9a, b, c & d).


Fig. 9.9a Small sikle (Daranti)


Fig. 9.9b Big sikle (Darati)


Fig. 9.9c Gandasa (Chopper)


Fig. 9.9d Axe (Kulhari)

The hand sickle is used to harvest crops like wheat, maize, barley, pulses and grass etc. Big sickle (Darat) is used to harvest fodder from trees. Gandasa (chopper) and axe are used to harvest crops like sugar-cane etc.

Postharvest tools and implements

1. Wooden Pin: Is used to remove the outer covering of maize cobs and is fashioned out of a bamboo stick.

2. Wooden Pole: These are used to detach grains from the maize cobs and grains from other crops through a beating action.

3. Suhaga: This is used to thresh both wheat and paddy crops according to traditional practice through the rubbing action of the suhaga with the tillers of crops.

4. Bamboo basket (Kilta): This is used for carrying FYM and farm produce (Fig. 9.10).


Fig. 9.10 Big bamboo basket (Kilta)

5. Tokri (Fig. 9.11). A small bamboo basket.


Fig. 9.11 A small bamboo basket (Tokri)

6. Hand mill: This is used to grind flour and pulses (Fig. 9.12).


Fig. 9.12 Indigenous hand mill

7. Winnower: This separates the grain from the husk (Fig. 9.13)


Fig. 9.13 Winnower (Shoop)

8. Sieve: This is used for the separation of different types of grains for elimination of alien material (Fig. 9.14).


Fig. 9.14 Sieve (Chanani)

9. Sack: It is used to store the farm produce. 12. Pine needle collecting tool (Fig. 9.18. The traditional sack is made from the skin of sheep and goat (Fig. 9.15).


Fig. 9.15 Sack made of goat skin

10. Shearer: This is used for shearing wool (Fig. 9.16).

11. Skinner: This is used for taking off the skin of slaughtered goat/sheep (Fig. 9.17).


Fig 916 Sshearer (Balwan)


Fig 9 17 Sheep/goat skinner (Kataru)

12. Pine needle collecting tool (Fig. 9.18)


Fig. 9.18 Tool for collecting pine needles (Kadera)

Miscellaneous tools

Hammer, jumper, wedge and shovel and hand saw are also used from time to time in the various farm operations.

Despite of their widespread use, even today, these indigenous implement/tools in general are not agronomically sound and as a result lower the efficiency and increase tiredness of the operator. There is an urgent need to improve upon the traditional implements so as to redress this serious limitation. The standardization of their design in accordance with the requirements of hill farming is long overdue.

Table 1: List of tools/implements in various regions of HP

Type of tools/implements

English name

Local name in regions



Lahaul & Spiti

Chamba

Sirmour

Kinnaur

Bilaspur

I. Tillage and bed/land preparation tools

1. Wooden Plough

Nagal

Hal

Hal

Thong
(Aawi)

Hal


2. Yoke or Punjali

Joom

-

Joda


Jungda


3. Hammer wooden (Mallot)

Thowa

dah

ud

Ghoon

Padawata


4. Leveller

-

mach

Sohaga

Jorah

Maida


5. Pick axe

Gainti

Gainti

Gainti

bilcha

Gainti

II. Interculture operation tools

1. Spade

Chagwal

Phawara

Phorwa

-

Jhhamb


2. Harrow

-

Dandal

-

Gyama

Dandali


3. Khilna

-

-

-

Chikri

Kilni


4. Hoe (Kudal)

Okthan

Kudali

Kasi

Khassi

Kudali


5. Hand hoe

-

Khurpi

Khurpi

Khot

Khurpa


6. Iron hook provided with wooden handle

Surmn

-

-

-

-

III. Harvesting

1. Scythe

Dranti

Darati

Daranti

Sora
(Dachi)

Dorati


2. Sharp blade fitted to wooden handle

Jathugza

Gandasa

-

-

Rutasa


3. Big sickle

Drant

Darat

Darant

Naryal
(Daach)

Draft


4. Small axe makudi

Karji

Jhontu

Teri

-

Kulhadu


5. Plough

Nagal

Hal

Hal

Jhong

Hal

IV. Phostharvest
Bambo pin

1. Wooden Pin/

-

-

-

-

Sua


2. Threshing pole

-

-

-

Berka

Deeng


3. Basket

Kilta

Kilta

Kilta

Kilta
(Changer)

Tokri


4. Suhaga (Leveller)


Mach

Moi

Jorah

Maida


5. Winnower

Sheen

Chhaj

Zongfa

-

Chhaj


6. Large sieve

-

-

-

Yara

Kera


7. Threshing floor

-

-

-

Kholang

-


8. Sack (Bag)

-

-

-

Phat

Bori


9. Hand mill

Ranthak
(Chackki)

-

-

-

Chakki

V. Additional

1. Chisel

Chutsa

Nihani

-

Zabbal

Chhini


2. Jumper

Jhabbal

-

-

-

Chabbal


3. Saw

-

Karolari

Aari

-

Aari


4. Iron Hammer

-

-

-

-

Hathodi