The Indian farmer has been reeling under the burden of debt, low productivity and uncertain market since forever. Many schemes and programmes have been launched by the state and centre government, yet the farmers destress remains unsettled. Col Deswal realised early on that the market price cannot be controlled. Instead the farmer should focus on reducing the cost of production. Thus, it had become necessary to reduce cost of production in order to maximize profits, which the farmers in the region were not doing. The farming practices in the region were characterised by traditional means of land preparation, sowing, harvesting and marketing. Col Deswal identified the bottlenecks in the system of production and isolated cost items that could be eliminated or reduced. Sowing machine was imported from Italy, which costed INR 17.5 lakhs. The seed drill machine helped reduce labour cost and increased sowing efficiency and accuracy, thus requiring less seed per acre, which ultimately reduced cost of seed resulting in reduced cost of production. Seed was among the major cost items as the whole seed for nantes variety was being imported from European countries. However, a single machine could not help expanding the operations and local innovation were required. The technology had to made affordable and customised to Indian farming systems characterised by small landholdings. Thus, necessity become the mother of innovation. The seed drill machine imported from France was indigenously redesigned and developed to suit the local needs. The sowing operation was combined with bed formation operations, resulting in simultaneous bed formation and seed drilling operations, thus reducing a cycle of tractor operation in the field. A single cycle using a single machine prepared the bed for the seed as well as sowed the seed simultaneously. This further reduced the cost of cultivation.
Harvesting is a labour-intensive exercise among the farm operations especially in the case of root crops like carrot. A huge cost was incurred on deploying labour to harvest produce. There were no harvesting machines that could harvest the carrots. Even the internationally available technology was useless in the Indian context due to small landholdings. The land could not pooled and yet Col Deswal was sure there was scope in reducing the cost of harvesting. A new machine was invented that unearthed the carrots and left them on the farm for the labour to pick up and bag the carrots in the field. The labour requirement was reduced by three folds. The machine was locally inspired, designed and developed.
Traditionally carrots were washed by foot by labour which damaged the product resulting in huge value loss. The output of washing was also low. Thus, Sunshine Vegetables designed and developed a new mechanical carrot washing system that revolutionised the system. The cost on labour, value lost due to damages were reduced drastically and the output was increased manifold. The technology was openly available and today there are multiple micro-enterprises providing carrot facilities to farmers in the cluster.