Design and Development of a Hand Operated Assam Lemon Fruit Harvester
North East India is one of the region of origin for citrus fruit, Assam lemon and Khasi mandarin. These are also the two important commercial citrus cultivars grown in North East India. Assam lemon (Citrus limon L. Burmf.) is native to Assam. Assam lemon is grown in an area of 13,000 ha in Assam with a productivity of 7.00 tonnes per ha.
Assam lemon fruit is the main source of vitamin C in the diet of Assamese people. The fruit lemons are normally consumed raw. They are also used for preparation of refreshing drinks and pickles as well as garnishing curry preparations. Assam lemon plants are thorny bush type and are planted at a spacing of 3 m x 3 m. The plants attain harvesting stage after 3-4 years when the canopy closes. This makes harvesting of the fruits very difficult because of the thorns. Present practice of harvesting is manual hand picking which is tedious and injury prone. So difficult is the task that cost of harvesting the fruit is the major production cost contributing to its selling price (approximately Rs 5.00 per fruit). Till now no effort has been made for design and development of a device for harvesting Assam Lemon fruit. Also considering the scale of production of an average farmer, it will be more economical and ecological to design and develop a hand-operated harvester rather than a power-driven one. Hence, we propose an R&D project aimed at design and development of a hand-operated Assam Lemon harvester.
The specific design fall out is drudgery and injury free Assam Lemon harvesting using an affordable hand operated harvester.
Principle Investigator: Dr. Pankaj Baruah, Dept. of Agricultural Engineering
Co-Investigator: Sharmistha Banerjee (Assistant Professor, Design)
Sponsoring Agency: DIC, MHRD