Palm and Coconut Leaf Mat Weaving Machine

Name : T S Pasupathy Marthandanpasupath

District & State :  Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu

Category : Agro based food processing machinery

Award :   National

Award Function :   2nd National Grassroots Innovation Awards

Award Year : 2002

Innovation Description

2d89c0267682f3d20e645a665368e447-714_340x180Shri Pasupathy (65 years), belongs to an agricultural family and owns five acres of land. He is the proprietor of Anantha Rural Industries Research Center, Kuttam. During his school days he was nicknamed as `scientist’ due to his creative bent of mind towards developing innovative ideas. After completing SSLC, he joined as a clerk in the military. While in service, he learnt some basics of electronics and mechanics.

Recently he has developed a new machine for speedy weaving of mats from palm leaves. This mat-making machine would help to ease up the drudgery, increase productivity and thus help earn more revenue.

The mat making machine comprises frame, two palm leaf folders, a roller, a cross pave section and two pedal levers in left and right. It enables skilled operator along with an unskilled person to produce about 6 mats of 2 x 4 feet size in an hour. These mats can be used for packing items like fish, matches and jaggery. The machine can be adjusted for either criss cross knitting or `V’ shaped knitting. The machine can be made to operate either by pedal or by handle, though the basic design of the machine remains the same. With a capital investment of about Rs.10, 000 and a working capital of about Rs. 2500 for leaves, one can earn a net income of about Rs.75 per day. (This earning is calculated after deducting depreciation, interests on capital, rent, maintenance, sales commission etc). With manual mat making, one can hardly earn Rs. 25 per day. Now a days, mat making by hand is getting reduced due to high labour cost and also availability of cheaper plastic mats. With a little modification this machine can be utilized for “korai pai” mat (this mat is normally used for sleeping purpose) weaving. This machine will promote eco-friendly mats for packing purpose. Rural artisans, who are able to make only a subsistence living out of this handicraft, produce these mats in millions by hand. Imagine the welfare and efficiency impact, if such a low cost machine could be provided to these millions of manual mat makers !

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