Ricycle: A Low Cost Rice Planting Machine

Sustainable agriculture requires water, sun, soil, physical ease and access. In Indian villages, farming is a family activity but women perform majority of the work. The men till the land and the women plant the rice seedlings. Bending over repeatedly to plant rice seedlings by hand in wetlands, women work in the hot sun and the repetitive movement causes severe back pain and related health issues. Easing the physical burden increases crop planting, yield, nutrition, and profitability. Needless to say, modern technology is financially inaccessible to rural farmers. Researchers devised a low cost, manual planting machine designed for ease and efficiency in planting rice saplings in the paddy field. The Ricycle, designed specifically to Indian women’s morphology, is a pedal-powered tractor. The team trained village women to maintain the machines themselves, empowering them to be self-reliant.