Apt for Agriculture

  Kriti Garg |     September 1, 2023

"I wanted to create something unique which can contribute to the development of our country.” Suhani Chauhan, a student of Amity International School, Pushp Vihar, New Delhi recently created SO-APT—a visionary agricultural innovation. Stories of students across states are emerging, based on the cross-section of new technology and age-old dilemmas, proving that the youth is not just adults-in-waiting but are individuals with a drive to influence the world.

Chauhan’s groundbreaking creation has the potential to revolutionise Indian farming. Putting her passion for research and scientific inquiry to good use, Suhani is set to transform the lives of Indian farmers by providing them with an eco-friendly, cost-effective, and multifunctional tool.

What is so apt about SO-APT?

SO-APT, short for Solar-Operated Agro Vehicle with Portable Tools, is a marvel of sustainable technology and has set a new milestone in agricultural innovation. Powered entirely by solar energy, it boasts of zero carbon emissions, contributing to a cleaner and healthier planet. The vehicle can perform a wide range of tasks, including operating a fodder-cutting machine, centrifugal pumps, fans, lights, and even charging mobile phones. Its versatility enables farmers to use it for hole-digging, seed-sowing, irrigation, spraying, and various essential agricultural activities.

With a distance coverage capacity of 60km on a fully charged battery, it ensures that farmers cover vast expanses without worrying about battery drainage. The vehicle's load-carrying capacity of 400kg makes it ideal for transporting bulky materials during demanding seasons.

One of the most significant advantages of SO-APT is its low daily operation cost. Since it is entirely solar-powered, its running expenses are virtually nil. Furthermore, due to its simple design and fewer components, maintenance costs remain negligible, saving additional financial burdens. Priced under Rs. 3 lakhs, Suhani's creation is inexpensive and accessible to a majority of the farming community, promoting inclusivity and empowerment. Through SO-APT, Suhani aims to increase crop productivity and decrease production costs, thus uplifting farmer’s income and ensuring our food security.

In her own words, “The vehicle performs all the functions of agriculture, except for ploughing, which requires a high amount of energy and power.” With this ambitious endeavour, she seeks to address the pressing needs of farmers and contribute to India’s sustainable agricultural practices.

While the youth maybe the primary bearers in our climate change conundrum, they are the most proactive in responding through innovations as these. Chauhan’s SO-APT presents a promising solution to the struggles of Indian farmers, providing them with an environmentally-fit economical tool for their needs. To that very end, environmental journalist, Robinson Meyer had once remarked, “Patience is a democratic virtue. But sloth is a cardinal sin. Perhaps only the young can tell the difference.” We hope that young, brilliant students such as Suhani, continue to be able to tell the difference and make one too.

About the Author

An undergraduate student in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, USA; and served as an intern at the Center for Science and Environment, New Delhi.

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