Keralite Farmer's Tree-Climbing Machine Is What We Want For Christmas

Keralite Farmer's Tree-Climbing Machine Is What We Want For Christmas

Don’t you just hate it when the tastiest looking coconuts are at the very top of the tree, just out of reach? Well now there’s a simple solution for all us poor plebs who don’t have the necessary skills to shimmy up palm trees like spider monkeys. The tree climbing machine is the brainchild of a Keralite farmer, M J Joseph, also known fondly as Appachan. Although he dropped out of school Joseph had an innate ability to identify and solve everyday problems. He has many unique inventions such as the coconut juicer under his belt but his most popular was undoubtedly his tree climber.
Consisting of two metal loops that wrap around the tree that are attached to belts and pedals that securely fasten your hands and feet the device enables the wearer to scale even the tallest trees in minutes. He and his father collaborated on the project and soon they were gaining the attention in a big way. In 2001 they bagged an award at the National Grassroots Technological Innovation and Traditional Knowledge Competition, organized by National Innovation Foundation (NIF-India). This prize gained him the nickname ‘the local Spiderman’.

This success soon led to international recognition when Kelvin Davies an American distributor of new and innovative products put in an initial order for 25 units and was incredibly impressed with its simple but effective design. The technology was a raging success and soon Joseph was shipping across the world to USA, Maldives, Thailand, Australia, Brazil and Mexico from St. Mary’s Engineering Works, his small workspace in Kerala.
NIF played a pivotal role in this expansion and are still trying to widen his family business. Not only is this a wonderfully useful product but the story itself has proven to be a great inspiration to many. That as small-time, uneducated farmer with a simple idea can make such a splash in the world of innovation has emboldened many people to come forth with their ideas. It just goes to show that no idea is worthless and that sometimes dreams do come true.

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