Featured SRI Equipment

Equipment for Farming with SRI

Featured Tool: Mandava Weeder

CAD Drawings: Mandava Weeder

Associated Research Articles: Mandava Weeder

Videos & YouTube: Mandava Weeder

Related Resources: Mandava Weeder

General Specifications for Mandava Weeder 

Mandava Weeder

  • Length: 1500 mm
  • Width f(handle): 460 mm
  • Nominal width: 150mm
  • Working width: 120mm
  • Height:  1000 mm
  • Type of Handle: T-Type
  • Number of Rotors: 1
  • Weight: 5.1 kg
  • Unit Cost: $25.00/- (approx. USD)

Resources for Women Rice Farmers 

Commercial Sellers: Mandava Weeder

Women Farmer Links

  1. SRI and It’s Impacts on Women
  2. SRI Cultivates Well-Being for Women
  3. System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and Labouring Bodies
  4. Gender Issues in Weeder Design
  5. SRI4Women
  6. Small Farmers Can Reap Big Benefits with Affordable Tools
  7. Mechanical Advantage: Oxfam working with RACHANA to modify weeders for women farmers.
  8. Weeding Out Complexities of Rice Farming
  9. Women Showing the Way with Agroecology
  10. Understanding dynamics of labour in System of Rice Intensification (SRI): Insights from grassroots experiences in Odisha, India, Sabarmatee’s Phd .pdf
  11. Workload on Women Using Cono Weeder in SRI Method of Paddy Cultivation. I do not have a hot link for this article yet. Link for ANGR Agricultural University, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad Journals is: 
  12. Women Friendly Equipment with Photographs From the Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering (ICAR) India Drudgery Reducing Technologies for Women in Agriculture
    https://farmech.dac.gov.in/Women%20Friendaly%20Equipment-  With%20photographs.pdf
  13. System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and Labouring Bodies
  14. Gender Issues in Rice Based Farming Systems
  15. Final report of RACHANA/Oxfam project to modify tools for women rice farmers
    No link. Note: this I a comprehensive report of the field studies conducted in number 7, “Mechanical Advantage: Oxfam working with RACHANA to modify weeders for women farmers.”
  16. Ergonomical Evaluation of Cono-Weeder with Farm Women
  17. Cono weeder: An economic hand tool for women labour in paddy field
  18. Gender Dimensions of the Adoption of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Cambodia

Click here to Download PDF of Women Farmers Links

Earth Links work at the International Rice Conference (IRC)

The “International Rice Conference” in Singapore and the “International Workshop to Enhance Cooperation and Sharing among SRI National Networks” in Malaysia

The IRC is took place in Singapore, October 14-17 at the Marina Bay Sands and the Workshop was held at the The Leverage Business Hotel-Skudai, Johor Bahru, Malaysia on the 18th-19th of October.

A Very Special Thanks to Oxfam for making the SRI Rice booth possible at the IRC
At the IRC Stephen Leinau made a presentation on “Reducing Injuries and Increasing Yields for Smallholder Women Rice Farmers through Additive Manufacturing and the Design, Modification and Testing of Rotors for use with SRI Weeders” and made a presentation on “The Future Guardians of Rice: Bali, World Heritage, and the Next Generation of Farmers” on behalf of the paper’s four authors; Wiwik Dharmiasih, Micah Fisher, Lucy Fisher and Stephen Leinau.  http://ricecongress2018.irri.org

At the Malaysian meeting as part of the “HIGHLIGHTS OF GLOBAL INITIATIVES” Stephen discussed the development of an international SRI Equipment Network.

Digging into Conservation Agriculture Websites and Publications

What is Conservation Agriculture (CA)?

CA is a set of soil management practices that minimize the disruption of the soil’s structure, composition and natural biodiversity. Despite high variability in the types of crops grown and specific management regimes, all forms of conservation agriculture share three core principles. These include:

  • maintenance of permanent or semi-permanent soil cover (using either a previous crop residue or specifically growing a cover crop for this purpose);
  • minimum soil disturbance through tillage (just enough to get the seed into the ground) ;
  • regular crop rotations to help combat the various biotic constraints;
  • supports soil health and the rich natural ecosystem

CA also uses or promotes where possible or needed various management practices listed below:

  • utilization of green manures/cover crops (GMCC’s) to produce the residue cover;
  • no burning of crop residues;
  • integrated disease and pest management;
  • controlled/limited human and mechanical traffic over agricultural soils.

When these CA practices are used by farmers one of the major environmental benefits is reduction in fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. But they also reduce the power/energy needs of farmers who use manual or animal powered systems.

From the Conservation Agriculture Knowledge Portal at Cornell University


Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations ‪David R. Montgomery, 2012dirt

This is where many people begin their experience with CA

Dirt, soil, call it what you want—it’s everywhere we go. It is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, our cities. This fascinating yet disquieting book finds, however, that we are running out of dirt, and it’s no laughing matter. An engaging natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern times, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations explores the compelling idea that we are—and have long been—using up Earth’s soil. Once bare of protective vegetation and exposed to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode bit by bit, slowly enough to be ignored in a single lifetime but fast enough over centuries to limit the lifespan of civilizations. A rich mix of history, archaeology and geology, Dirt traces the role of soil use and abuse in the history of Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, China, European colonialism, Central America, and the American push westward. We see how soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil—as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt. David R. Montgomery sees in the recent rise of organic and no-till farming the hope for a new agricultural revolution that might help us avoid the fate of previous civilizations. From the Preface

The Conservation Agriculture Group at Cornell University

This site maintains a very diverse international resource for CA.  Academic articles, international groups, monthly news, upcoming conferences, the Two-wheel Tractor Newsletter and much more is available at this knowledge portal/website.  It is an excellent first stop for up to date CA resources and news.


This organization and their website has excellent information, including videos, equipment, conference information and presentations as well as links to a very large number of regional CA groups.

Dirt First, a renegade soil scientist is transforming American agriculture,  Kristin Ohlson, in Orion Magazine, 2016

In a very accessible way this Orion magazine article by Kristion Ohlson tells the story of the critical importance of soil health,.

Thousands of years of poor farming and ranching practices―and, especially, modern industrial agriculture―have led to the loss of up to 80 percent of carbon from the world’s soils. That carbon is now floating in the atmosphere, and even if we stopped using fossil fuels today, it would continue warming the planet. In The Soil Will Save Us, journalist and bestselling author Kristin Ohlson makes an elegantly argued, passionate case for “our great green hope”―a way in which we can not only heal the land but also turn atmospheric carbon into beneficial soil carbon―and potentially reverse global warming. From the Amazon review:  The Soil Will Save Us


Landscapes Transformed: The History of Conservation Tillage and Direct Seeding, edited by C. Wayne Lindwall and Berie Sonntag


Jeff Esdaile’s Two-Wheel Tractor Newsletter
There is a wealth of very creative mechanization for farmers who have access to two wheel drive tractors.  The site is hosted by the Cornell Conservation Agriculture website.

  • http://conservationagriculture.mannlib.cornell.edu/pages/resources/twowheel.html

Roller/Crimper Designs for Cover Crops Management on Different Farm Scales Using Conservation Practices, Ted S. Kornecki, Agricultural Engineer, USDA, 2014

This is good example of much needed CA equipment being scaled down in size and weight. Test results are presented very clearly.


Here is a fun example of citizen science and a good measure of soil health that children can dig into. One of Earth Link’s first projects was an environmental group for high school students and as one of our activities we sold worms.

Three images of the “Jua Kali Planter” from Earth Links’ coming open source equipment database

Earth Links is working on a database and website for small-holder farmers who need well designed, tested, and very inexpensive tools that can be be construct by local blacksmiths or manufactured regionally. Designs will be available as CAD files, PDFs, photos and videos.

Planter-JuaKali-170123-copy-2-3 Planter-JuaKali-170123-copy-2-1 Planter-JuaKali-170123-copy-2-2