The import of the harvester was the outcome of the visit by a high-level team headed by Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam to Thailand, Japan and China to inspect the field performance of various sugarcane harvesters manufactured by different firms.Launching the harvester, Vice-Chancellor of the university P. Murugesa Boopathi said it would be a big boon to the farmers who faced severe labour shortages, coupled with rising labour costs.
S. Santhana Bosu, Dean (Agricultural Engineering), TNAU, said sugarcane harvesting being a highly labour-intensive operation required nearly 850 to 1,000 man-hours an hectare with traditional tools. It involved base cutting, stripping, de-trashing, de-topping, bundle-making, loading and transport of cane to sugar mills.
The machine did all the operations and also chopping whole cane into billets before storing them into a netted bag mounted at the rear of the machine.The demonstration was conducted for a large group of sugarcane farmers in the presence of S.V. Balasubramanian, Chairman, Bannari Amman Sugars Limited.