Back in 2012, we had reported the story about how a farmer in Gujarat had converted his old Royal Enfield into a tractor because he did not have money to buy a real tractor to plough his land. The same innovation is now winning hearts in Africa.
A revolutionary piece of farming equipment built by Amreli-based farmer Mansukh Jagani has been in active use for farming operations in India since 1994. This make-shift Royal Enfield tractor modification became very famous in India in 2002 when it won the prestigious award from National Innovation Foundation. This spread the news about this innovation not only across India but around the globe.
Bullet Saanti or Suja as it is better known today, caught the attention of many NGOs and Universities from around the world. One such university was Nairobi-based Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKAUT). They invited Mr Jagani to Kenya, to explore the possibility of launching such a motorcycle in Kenya. After four years, that dream is going to come alive as Suja will be launched in Kenya later this month.
Suja is built using a chassis of an Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle in the front and a retrofitted tractor like attachment at the rear. It rides on three wheels, one in the front and two at the rear while it gets a tool bar for carrying farming equipment.
Designed to replace animal driven farming equipment, the Suja also reduces cost of agricultural operations and improves productivity. It is an ideal piece of equipment for those farmers who currently rely on bullock driven ploughs and cannot afford costly tractors and power tilling implements.
PM Modi’s recent visit to Africa draws special attention to the Suja as he and Mansukh Jagani share the same home state. This piece of farming equipment has come to the aid of many poor farmers in Kenya as it is not only cost effective (priced at INR 40,000 in India) but also comes with four varying types of farming equipment for Shallow ploughing, harrowing, sowing and inter culture operations.
In Kenya, it has already received over 75 bookings, and over 2,000 farmers are in queue. Suja will next be launched in many more countries across the world.