Our Company has tied up with M/s. BLACK MORE and Company of U S A for supplying the equipment. The equipment comes in two parts one is Coater & second is Seeder.
The coater fills the trays with media and seeder will drop seeds into individual cavity. This equipment has a capacity to seed about 200,000 to 300,000 per day and eliminates dependence on labour. The are very low on power consumption and the operations are neat.
Equipment (i) “The Seeder”:-The seeder works using indexing system to locate the tray cells, vaccum pump and the needle. Seeder to pick up the seeds and place it in the tray cells.
The Advantages are:-1. Very uniform sowing. It is almost 99% accurate in pickup and dropping the seeds (This needs to be adjusted according to the seed and the portray cells).
2. Very high seeding rate (about 300 trays per hour for Tomato/hot pepper)
3. The equipment requires two operators (one skilled and the other unskilled).
4. Very low loss of seeds.
5. Most importantly the seeds are not touched by hand therefore is free from any diseases.
6. Very cost effective considering a cost of 13laksh per equipment which can produce 30000 seedlings per hour. Presently the cost of seeding is (Rs.250/- per labour who can produce about 8000 seeds per day. Therefore, cost per seedling would be 25000/80 i.e., approximately 3 paise). Therefore, the cost of the seeder can be recovered (at the rate of Rs.6000 per day) in 200 days.
(ii) The coater:-The concept of coater is new in the Indian context. However, several advanced nurseries (Hybrid seed producing companies) us this technique.
This technique involves spreading a thin layer of Vermiculite / Perlite or mix on top of the seed. The tray with the seeds is fed to the coater. The coater spreads a very thin seed cover with Vermiculite / Perlite. The important consideration is while spreading Vermiculite / Perlite is the seed is neither touched nor disturbed.
Importance & Advantages of Seed Coater:-1. When the seed is covered with perlite of vermiculite the seed gets a very uniform atmosphere around it. This helps in germination of the seeds.
2. Since both perlite and vermiculite are Neutral in Ph and have no conductivity. The seedling establishes very efficiently.
3. The coat being sterile and produced at more than 8000 C there will be very little fungal activity. This reduces mortality due to fungus (neck rot etc).
4. The germination of seeds is very uniform and the soil temperature around the seed will be uniform because both Perlite & Vermiculite are thermal insulators
5. This coater is economical and will operate in time with the seeder. The cost of the coater is Rs.7 lakh. This cost is recovered in 8 months time.