SU professor invents sugarcane intercroping drill
A professor of College of Agriculture, Sargodha University has become the first Pakistani national to invent a Multipurpose and Multifunctional Sugarcane Intercropping Drill. The invention will meet the diversified needs of small scale farmers by maximizing land utilization, increasing total yield and high monetary returns.
Dr Abdul Rehman, assistant professor of the Department of Agronomy has designed and fabricated a unique and the first drill of its kind with the help of his research team and local industry using indigenous raw material.
The Patent Office of the government of Pakistan granted the exclusive right of use of the process and also to make, import, offer for sale, sell, stock and use the product obtained directly by means of the process so patented under 143094, subject to the Patents Ordinance, 2000. As per the Patents Ordinance, 2000 in force in Pakistan, an invention is patentable if it is new, involves an inventive step and is capable of industrial application.
Sharing his views about the invention, Dr Abdul Rehman said that a multipurpose and multifunctional tractor drawn drill was purposely designed for sugarcane sowing and intercropping. It has the capacity to perform functions of various tillage implements including soil cultivation, breaking of clods, leveling of soil surface and drilling of seed and fertilizer in a single pass, he said.
“In the presence of Intercropping drill unit, there is no need to purchase different implements separately, he expressed adding that about 50% of existing area of sugarcane can additionally be utilized for sowing of wheat, gram, maize, vegetables, clovers and pulses by using this intercropping drill.”
Dr Rehman expressed that inter-cropping in sugarcane generally requires more labour, thereby intercropping drill will lessen the expenses, maximize land utilization and uplift the socio-economic condition of the small scale farmers.
Deputy Director ORIC Sargodha University Dr Anjum Murtaza informed that a total of six patents have been listed with the Patent Office of Pakistan. He said the rise in university patenting is occurring against a broader policy framework aimed at fostering a greater interaction between public research and industry in order to increase the social and private returns from public support to R&D.
It is worth mentioning here that the university is providing financial assistance, research projects and grants to the faculty from its own resources. Moreover, it has increased budget allocation for research by 51% percent for the fiscal year 2019-2020.