At present in Almora district, there are more than 600 peasants who are using metallic ploughs for farming instead of wooden ploughs. Not only in Almora but in Chamoli and Bageshwar districts, the metallic plough is being used by the farmers effectively.
The invention of V.L Syahi’s plough has helped in preserving Oak trees which play an important role in preserving our environment, water resources and organic diversity. The metallic plough is becoming popular among the farmers as it is a step towards conserving bio-diversity. The farmers are very much satisfied with using metallic plough instead of traditional farming equipment’s as it is saving the oak trees from chopping down. In 2004, Syahi Devi Vikas Samiti requested the government to find an alternative for traditional ploughs but nothing happened so far.
In the year 2011, Vivekanand Krishi Anusansadhan Sansthan started its efforts towards inventing indigenous farming equipment’s made out of metals. This has helped in the conservation of the forests as earlier they were being cut down for making traditional farming equipment’s. The director of the institution J.C Bhatt, senior scientist D.P Singh Sahu, senior technician Shiv Singh Khetwal and the whole team of Syahi Devi Samiti is working for flourishing metallic plough farming. In accordance with the treaty, research work is being carried on and new inventions are being done to popularise metallic farming.
After six months of numerous testing done in laboratories and farmlands, on 24 March 2012, the well-renowned environmentalist Chandi Prasad Bhatt released the V.L Syahi metallic plough. The foundation has given the task of commercialising the production of the metallic plough to an enterprise in Haldwani. About 300 metallic ploughs were given to the farmers which were made by the enterprise. The Forest Department along with Agriculture Department has shown full support for the noble cause. After using the metallic plough on the fields the farmers gave their views and suggestions about improving the quality of the plough. They have also demanded spare parts but due to geographical factors the peasants are finding difficulty in getting spare parts from the enterprise situated in Haldwani. In addition to this, the foundation is facing the problem of how to implement the suggestions given by farmers for raising the quality of metallic plough? in their new model. Therefore, a letter of compromise called M.O.U had been signed between Syahi Devi Vikas Samiti, Sheetlakhet, Vivekanand Parvartiya Krishi Anusandhanshala and Almora. Currently, the production of the metallic plough is taking place in Sheetlakhet. Because of local manufacturing, necessary modifications are being done in the model of the ploughs as suggested by the farmers. In accordance with this, the supply of spare parts have also been ensured which has resulted in increasing the sales of the ploughs.
By looking at the important role played by the metallic plough in the conservation of Oak trees, Uttarakhand state under District Innovation Fund has signed a project with Syahi Devi Vikas Samiti granting 500 ploughs at Rs 700 to the peasants of Almora district. At present, there are 60 ploughs in Almora’s Suri Village, 24 ploughs in Sainaur Village, 20 ploughs in Marila Village, 10 ploughs in Barsila, 4 ploughs in Kharkiya, 15 ploughs in Devlikhan. About 10 ploughs in Salla, 10 ploughs in Syahi Devi, 6 ploughs in Sadka, 4 ploughs in Bedgaon, 10 ploughs in Naula and 5 ploughs are currently working in Dhamas. Apart from this, at least, one or two ploughs are still working in other villages. Whereas, the demand for 400 ploughs has to be fulfilled.
Meanwhile, a gripping chronology took place when Chandi Prasad Bhatt’s foundation Devshaili Gram Swaraj Mandal asked for 50 metallic ploughs, which has been made available. These ploughs will be given to the women empowerment bodies of Badrinath. Syahi Devi Vikas Samiti had demanded to raise the amount of subsidy given on the ploughs from 50% to 80% thereby, making it easily affordable to the farmers. The committee has also demanded to provide effective alternatives for firewood so the forest cover can be preserved. This will not only help in conservation of the forests but will also help in balancing the Eco-system. As a famous saying goes – ”When there will be no trees, no grass, no food then you will realise you can’t eat money.” Therefore, metallic plough is the need of the hour to save our environment from the harmful effects of deforestation.