Ingenious Devices for Easier Processing of Walnuts
The devices have evinced interest from international markets, particularly from Afghanistan.
Mushtaq Ahmed Dar, a grassroots innovator from the Anantnag district in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, has come out with a series of innovations for making the processing of walnuts easier and more efficient.
The innovations include a nut cracking machine, a peeler, a washer, and a sorter that promises to help streamline the production process and thus reduce the drudgery of people involved in walnut processing, a niche occupation primarily in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and in parts of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
These innovations are expected to empower the people involved in the occupation by giving them the capability to supply fresh kernels to domestic and world markets by cracking walnuts of varied types like paper-shelled, thin-shelled, medium-shelled, and hard-shelled, efficiently, and effectively.
This would further help them grow their business by even exporting and marketing the edible fruit inside and not just the shelled walnut, thereby making the final product more attractive in terms of effortless consumption. In addition, they have reduced the risk of the shells cracking and flying during processing. This posed a danger to the eyes. The devices have evinced interest from international markets, particularly from Afghanistan
A start-up called Rafiq Innovations Pvt Ltd has been set up at Anantnag to take the innovations forward. It is recognized by the Government of India and is being incubated by NIFientreC (NIF Incubation and Entrepreneurship Council), a Technology Business Incubator (TBI) hosted by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology.
Mr. Dar has also come up with another innovation for climbing poles that could resolve the problems posed by the complex geography of Kashmir Valley while repairing electricity and telecom connections. With the new device named Pole-Pro, workers could clamber up electricity, telecom poles, and rectify any faults without having to carry bulky ladders. The technology has been made available in the market through a start-up called Anventa Gadgetix Pvt Ltd. It is also recognized by the Government of India and incubated by NIFientreC.
Mr. Dar is continuing to explore to come up with more innovations. NIF has supported him with value addition and validation, product development, IPR protection, technology transfer.