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'I feel that my life is complete': Indian farmer invents 'tree scooter' to harvest nuts

An Indian farmer has invented a “tree scooter” to help him scale palm trees and harvest betel nuts.

One scooter can harvest 300 areca palms in a day, more than three times the amount of the traditional manual climbing method.

Ganapathi Bhat, 50, said: “I feel that my life is complete now.”

“I feel proud that I did something for the people through this invention,” he added.


The farmer, from the coastal town of Mangaluru, said the scooter was created to tackle the scarcity and cost of labour and the difficulties in harvesting betel nuts, also known as areca nuts, during the rainy season by the traditional climbing method.

The machine as a harness, seat and seat-belt and operates using a small motor and a set of wheels.

So far, Mr Bhat said he has so far sold more than 300 scooters, which cost 62,000 Indian rupees (£614) each.

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Despite the success, the farmer has faced some sceptics along the way.

“Villagers asked me if I was mad. They had doubts about my invention… whether it would work in the rainy season because the trees would be slippery,” he said.

The inventor spent about four million rupees researching and developing the scooter and is now conducting research for another machine to scale coconut trees, which have a thicker trunk.

India is the world’s biggest producer of betel nuts, which are often chewed and can be consumed dried or fresh, and in 2020-2021 produced 1.2 million tonnes of them.


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