Meet Mushtaq Ahmad Dar from Kreeri (Islamabad-Kashmir), who invented a tree/pole climber and a national award winning motorized walnut & almond cracker machine that can crack 2000-3000 walnuts a day.
“ My village is engaged in agriculture and horticulture occupation. As a child I could see the hardships faced by our grand parents while processing the walnut manually, the acid ooze from the green walnuts injured the hands. I always dreamt of doing something for them.” Says Mushtaq,
Tree cum Pole climber: It is a small portable device that makes climbing trees/poles simple and easy. What is remarkable about this innovation is that it uses body weight to lock the climbing steps and is very light, low cost and easy to maintain. National Innovation Foundation has filed a patent for the same in the name of the innovator and has provided incubation assistance through the Grassroots Innovations Augmentation Network Cell J&K. The technology was also licensed to an entrepreneur in Ahmedabad (India Innovatix), who has come up with an improved version of the climber in consultation with the innovator. Talks are on with parties in Kashmir and elsewhere to develop and use it as a climber for different electricity poles.
Walnut cracker: Walnut cultivation and trading is one of the major sources of income for people of J&K. Manual cracking of walnuts involves lots of time and drudgery. Mushtaq, who has been engaged in this activity for several years, noticed that trading of walnut without the skin gives more value. But the process is cumbersome and involves too much labour. He thought about simplifying the process and came up with a walnut cracking machine, which cracks walnuts by compressing them between two rollers one of which is powered. This roller gets drive from a motor after proper speed reduction. Mushtaq initially made rollers and other components of wood, which were later replaced by Nylon and in other version by Aluminum after getting value addition support from Technopreneur Promotion Programme (TePP) through National Innovation Foundation (NIF). This innovation is also incubated at Grassroots Innovations Augmentation Network (GIAN) J&K for further R&D and commercialization. A patent for the same has also been filed in the innovator’s name.
The machine can process around 80 kg of walnut per hour and 20 kg of almond per hour.
Almond cracker: It is a motorised machine that cracks almond nuts and separates nut and the shell easily. This process is otherwise done manually. The machine has a feed-in hopper section, grading section, rollers and the outlet. The device has a considerable speed as compared to the manual process and does not damage the nuts. This machine has the potential to rejuvenate the ailing almond industry in Kashmir. For this machine, he has been supported under the Micro Venture Innovation Fund (MVIF) scheme of NIF supported by SIDBI. Mushtaq has been short listed for recognition in NIF’s Fifth National Competition for Grassroots Innovations and Traditional Knowledge. He was also provided an Innovation Fellowship for a year under the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)-NIF MOU.
(Extract from NIF)