It’s not how most of us go out in search of nuts, though bike leathers can often be involved, but there’ll always be innovators one step ahead ready to show us a new way to do things.
One farmer in southern India is showing us all how it’s done, by devising a new contraption which helps him shimmy up large poles and grab nuts by the handful, all while wearing a fetching harness with a hefty motor between his legs. Woof.
49-year-old farmer Ganapathi Bhat, from Komale village near Bantwal in southern India, built and designed the motorbike-esque machine, which allows him to scale trees in a matter of seconds.
Check it out:
The talented farmer uses his device to ride vertically up areca palm trees, which can grow up to 100ft tall.
All he has to do is sit on its seat, start the engine and hold the clutch and accelerator simultaneously. The video was filmed earlier this month, on June 3, showing the ‘tree bike’s’ tiny 9-inch tyres race up the thin trees in 30-seconds flat.
Bhat had tried to build a similar machine 10 years ago, but to no avail.
A decade on however, and it seems good things come to those who wait, as the tree bike is working well.
The first time I took a ride to the top, I asked my son to be ready to call an ambulance.
Thankfully the ambulance wasn’t needed, and the farmer went on to climb around 150 trees before demonstrating his contraption to other farmers in the area.
I have used high-quality components. But if there is a mechanical failure, it stops midway. You just press the clutch to gently glide it down.
Bhat has already got around 50 interested farmers lined up to purchase their own tree bike, which he plans to sell for around 75,000Rs (£850).
As well as being an innovative farmer, Bhat is a science graduate, and a popular ‘technician’ in the area thanks to his ability to fix all kinds of machines.
That background helped, and I have several ideas like this.
The machine comes as a boon to Indian areca nut farmers who are struggling with a severe labour shortage. Spraying chemicals and harvesting areca nuts are specialised jobs.
As Bhat says: ‘Expert workers are hard to come by and are expensive.’ But people love nuts, so demand is always high. Thankfully, Bhat and his machine are here to help.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.