Himanshu Shekhar Pandey and Chetan Sawant
ICAR- Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Bhopal
Correspondence Email: pandeyhs13@gmailcom

Ginger (ZingiberofficinaleRosc.) is an important commercial crop. India is the largest producer consumer and exporter of ginger in the world.  In India ginger is cultivated in most of the states of India. However, states namely Karnataka, Orissa, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Gujarat together contribute 65 per cent to the country’s total production. Kerala contributes maximum dry ginger which is marketed internationally under the trade name “Cochin ginger” and 'Calicut' ginger. To meet the present and future requirements of ginger production in India, mechanization of the ginger production holds key along with varietal improvements and optimization of agronomic practices. Moreover mechanized cultivation would help to increase productivity and profitability by ensuring timeliness of field operations and reducing losses.Ginger production and quality is on the decline in India inspite of our abundant human and land resources. The drudgery associated with ginger production is a disincentive to its production. Removal of drudgery in ginger production through mechanization of the production process is necessary in order to boast production, enhance quality and make production more attractive. Hokiet al. (1992) and Yohanna (2007) pointed out that agricultural mechanization can be achieved simply by the introduction of advanced technologies which reduce drudgery, increase productivity and enhance economic growth of the nation. In conventional ginger planting, labours have to dig the soil to sow ginger whether they are growing it in flat fields as well as on ridges. This is very tedious and drudgery operation due to regular bending posture at the time of sowing. The shortage of labour which leads to increased cost of cultivation of this crop thus making it less profitable venture. The manual planting operation requires about 200-250 man-h per hectare (Mathuret al. 2002). The major ginger growing states face labour shortages, during planting season, as it coincides with field operations of rice and other crops. Thus mechanized planting of ginger will overcome labour shortage, improve timeliness of operation and reduce cost, drudgery and yield losses. Besides these, mechanized planting increases the area under ginger cultivation and production.

Ginger Rhizome Planter
The ICAR-CIAE Bhopal developed a tractor operated ginger planter to overcome the problems of manual planting. The planter consists of a hopper, metering disc for picking the rhizomes, agitator, seed tubes, furrow openers, bottom ridger to form ridges, ground wheel and a frame. The developed three row ginger rhizome planter helps precise planting of seed rhizomes.

Major Components of planter
1. Frame
2. Seed metering and delivery System
                      i.     Seed box
                      ii.   Vertical rotary metering disc assembly
                      iii.         Agitator
                      iv.          Seed delivery chute
                      v.            Seed boot
3. Furrow opener
5. Power Transmission System

Principle of operation of planter

When the implement attached to the tractor and operates in the field, tractor moves in forward direction the ground wheel in contact with the soil rotate. The lugs provided on the outer periphery of ground wheel provide a better gripping to the ground wheel due to which ground wheel rotates. The rotation of ground wheel shaft is also rotate along with sprocket rotate. The rotary motion of the ground wheel is transmitted to the intermediateshaft by using a chain mechanism. The drive from the intermediate shaft is transmitted to the gear/sprocket mounted on the metering shaft (main shaft). The main shaft rotates with the help of chain sprocket arrangement along with the metering disc mounted at bottom of the seed hopperwhich have actuating picking cups on its periphery. The seed rhizomes are stored in the primary hopper fall freely by gravity through main hopper to the secondary hopper.  The seed rhizomes are provide to the secondary hopper with the help of sliding mechanism which is use to maintain the level of seed rhizomes in secondary hopper. At the bottom of the hopper, there is agitator unit to improve the delivery of rhizomes. The agitator pushes the ginger rhizomes to ensure proper feed of the seed to the picking cups and drop them through the seed delivery chute in the seed boot. The seed through seed boots are dropped in the soil at required distance. When seed is dropped at specific distance then seed covering device (ridgers) cover the seed.

Field performance of planter

The average spacing between the plants sown with planter is 20-25 cm. The planter gives higher proportion of single rhizome per hill. The average seed rate of the machine about 1200 kg/ha. Machine suitable to operate at forward speed of 1.5-2 km/h.  Labour required to operate the planter is about 8 man-hour/ha. The developed ginger planter resulted in planting of more than 67% of the seeds in the range of 20–25 cm spacing at the forward speed of 1.5-2 km/h.Total cost of operation of ginger planter is ₹ 642/h. and ₹ 3206/ha. Labour required for rhizome cutting/grading 50 man-h/ha

Table 1. Specifications of planter

Overall dimensions, cm
Weight, Kg
Power source (tractor), hp
No. of rows
Row to row spacing, cm
Plant to plant spacing, cm
Ground wheel diameter, cm
  Metering mechanism
Fuel consumption, l/h
Labour required, man-hour/ha
Field capacity , ha/h
Field efficiency, %

Salient features of the machine

1. Tractor mounted three row ginger planter is suitable for planting ginger seed rhizomes.

2. It helps in planting of ginger seed rhizomes automatically at the desired plant spacing with minimum manual intervention.

3. Planter perform the various simultaneous operations and hence saves labour requirement, time and cost of operation etc.


1. Seed is not dropping from hopper
1. Seed rhizomes are not available in the receiving chamber
1.  Refill the seed
2.Check the agitator working
2. The picking cups is not actuating properly
1. Check the spring tension
2. Tighten the all nut and bolts.
3. Adjust the actuating cam
4. Replace broken or worn out parts
3. The drive wheel does not touch the
1. Lower down the hitch to get the drive wheel in contact with the land.
2. Check the ground wheel spring tension
2. Multiple seed dropping
1. Failure of the brush
1. Replace the brush
2. Maintain the proper depth of seed rhizomes in secondary hopper
3.Unequal depth of plantingamong different rows/furrow openers
1. Improper three point linkage
1. Put the machine on a fairly level ground and then level all the furrow openers with the help of top link/ right lower link of the tractor.


Mathanker S.K. and M. Methew (2002) Metering mechanism for ginger planters. Agricultural Engineering Journal,11(1):pp.3139

Hoki, M, Horrio, H, Singh, G, (1992).  Agricultural engineering literacy in developing countries.  Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York 14850, pp. 45.

Yohanna, J.K. (2007). Farm machinery utilization for sustainable agricultural production in Nasarawa State of Nigeria. International Journal of Food and Agricultural Research, Vol. (1&2):193-199.

Vision 2050, Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR)