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"SPIN is a great initiative that we will gladly support! The scythe is the best thing that happened to us in the last 10 years! How could mankind move away from such silent slick efficiency?"

Yasmine and Doug
Lynx Track Farm
Yukon, Canada
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All human beings ...


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Cutting green manure with a scythe in Nepal


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A first scythe in Auroville, India


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A scythe action in Thailand


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Scythe Project in Bhutan?


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L. N. Tolstoy in his cabin
by I. Repin, 1891


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Procesing asbestos in India

Current info about asbestos
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... Men shall know commonwealth again...
L. Cohen


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Dignity and Justice
for all of us!
... a great message to propagate



Colleen Bryant from Murrumbateman, Australia writes:

"Hello Alexander,

... the blades and sickle arrived and they are truly beautiful to use. Thank you!

I also wanted to say thank you for undertaking the sythe project in Nepal. My partner and I travelled throughout the Himalayas (India and Nepal) in 2004-05. When we were in Ladahk in Northern India it came to our attention that many families were struggling. Education has provided new opportunities to young people. Parents are keen to send their children into Leh, as they would like their children to have the opportunity for a better and easier life than they themselves have had. The outcome of parents dedication to having their children educated is that their are fewer people around to do the agricultural tasks necessary to survive. I know that you have considered the potential impacts of introducing a new technology to another culture. I just wanted to say, that the introduction of the scythe, is one way of providing more efficient agricultural techniques, to counterbalance the loss of labour that arises as a consequence of education, one of the unforseen outcomes of community projects.

Thank you for initiating such a project!

Kind regards,
Colleen."


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A shocking story behind the dirt-cheap goods from China



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This page is to be an inspiration, reference and source of information for independent scythe projects in the developing world.

It illustrates with different projects how scythes may be applied in various ways toward sustainable development, depending on the circumstances of the working area. Each developing country is facing its own set of challenges which need to be addressed with different approaches.

For instance, in Sub-Saharan Africa, the scythe is used for gathering hay to sustain livestock through dry spells, and thus contributes to food security and the local economy. In India, vast fields of grain are harvested by sickles, whereas the use of scythes would help speed up the harvest and ease the physical demands of this job without increasing the carbon footprint or requiring a great financial investment.

The demographic shifts from rural areas to the urban centres is not due to the lack of need for working hands in the fields. Instead, because of the politics of food, globalization, and media exposure, many villagers, especially young people, are attracted to cities where they believe there are easier ways to provide for themselves and their families.

In some situations, the emerging 'opportunities' in the cities are responsible for acute shortages of labor in the rural areas, especially at the harvest time. This obviously doesn't contribute to food security but promotes the opposite.

The politics of food are not in favour of those who produce it.

Under the banner of education we often envision an illiterate women learning to read and write, or a young person studying high-tech skills. These are important, but perhaps not enough emphasis is placed on vocational training in the developing world.

Education in its general sense is a form of learning in which the knowledge, skills, and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through teaching, training, research, or simply through "learning on their own". Therefore, the role of education in any society must be wide-ranging.

Undeniably, it is important to innovate, to strive for more sustainable ways, and make improvements that are kind to all life. It is important to pass on knowledge and skills that help us to sustain ourselves in a dignified manner, without depleting non-renewable resources for generations to come. Innovative minds backed up by adequate practical skills are the backbone of a resilient flourishing village life.

It is with these thoughts that I would like to explore the possible contributions of scythes in the developing world.



Listed below are Scythe Projects that I was able to connect with. If you know of any Scythe Projects that are not listed here, I would greatly appreciate you contacting me.



India 2017

An implementation of the scythe in India is well underway. The scythe is successfully used for grains harvest as well as for gathering fodder.
You can watch very helpful instructional videos on YouTube produced by the local group "ViKALP" in Kanpur.
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India 2016

Back in India for the winter wheat harvest
ScytheWorks' initiative
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Scythe Project in Costa Rica 2015


Canadian ScytheConnection found a good connection in Costa Rica
Inctructor: Peter Vido
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India 2015

Alexander's trip to India with the scythe in hand
In a search for a good connection
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Scythe Project In Nepal (SPIN) 2012


Canadian project of ScytheWorks in cooperation with HPC and ICO.
Inctructor: Alexander Vido
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Scythe Project in Senegal and Gambia


Danish initiative in Senegal is part of "Bicycles for Senegal"
Inctructor: Jens Lykkebo and friends
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Scythe Project in Burkina Faso


Swiss initiative in Burkina Faso by "Association Jethro"

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Scythe Project in Nyeri, Kenya


An initiative of Pennsylvania State University
at Empowerment Centre Nyeri, Kenya
Inctructor: Sjoerd Duiker
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The Scythe Project in Senegal


This initiative was carried out by Christian organization Beer-Sheba
Inctructor: Claude Eric-Robert from Switzerland
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The Beer-Sheba Project combines a sustainable agro-forestry program together with holistic training and an agricultural resource center for young Senegalese farmers.



Could The Scythe Help?

read the article by Peter Vido here.




Please help to decide
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I would welcome and appreciate your feedback. scytheworks@shaw.ca



All we are saying is: Give scythes a chance!

If you would like to support the scythe project in Nepal and other developing countries, your donation would be greatly appreciated.
The full amount of all donations will be used for the scythe initiative. Cheques can be made payable to "Scythe Project in Nepal".


Scythes wanted

To illustrate where a scythe could make a difference, here are few
inquiries that I've received from Nepal and India:


Hi,

My name is Sudarshan N. I am from a small village in Lamjung, Nepal. I was glad to see your projects in villages of Nepal. I am requesting you to help us in similar campaign in my village. My villages is much primitive they use all traditional means of farming and harvesting which is time consuming and higher labor costs. We would be really happy if we could get this little help from your organization.

Sincerely,
Sudarshan N.
Lamjung, Nepal

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Respected Sir,

I came across your site when I was exploring about agriculture method used in west before machine. I now became interested to use scythe. I need lot of time to harvest my crop (rice paddy and wheat).

If your project SPIN is not about to sell scythe can you give me more detail on scythe, ie, measured drawing of scythe blade (60cm), Handle dimension and crop support which you added at handle.

I want to make this with our local technician. For you, for this help I only can send you photos of progress and other field data. I think scythe blades are not available in Biratnagar (Eastern Nepal) . If I got this detail I may able to use it at my wheat crop. Paddy already harvested. I need time because I have to conduct practice drill among my people so that I can minimize loss of my production during actual reaping.

I hope I will get your reply even it is negative.
Thank you
Swayambhu K.
Biratnagar, Nepal

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Dear Sir

I am very sorry to respond so late.
I went forward and made one with the help of figure on your site...

Here is a photo making of scythe.
Thank you
Swayambhu K.
Biratnagar, Nepal
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Hi Friend,

I hail from a village called Rachur in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. In my 3 acre farm where I grow paddy. We have introduced Drum Seeder to reduce our sowing costs. The harvesting costs due to expensive labor are eating away the profits. Here the labour costs are high to the extent that the farmer gets to pay half the yield to just harvest the paddy with sickles.

To reduce the overall cost. I was looking at alternatives like Oleo mac cutter. When I saw the video of the work you did in Nepal, I was impressed and thought we introduce the usage of scythe in my district. This will save good money for all the marginal farmers like me.

May I know where in India will I be able to procure scythes to cut paddy out of my 3 acre farm. Do you have contacts in Nepal from where I could fetch the scythes.

Kind Regards,
Kiran S.
Rachur in Andhra Pradesh, India

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... Thank you Alexander. Unavailability of scythe in India doesn't dampen me. If scythe worked for centuries, sure will it do ahead. It will be of great if you may send across the technical design, dimensions so that I will have it made in a local workshop here.

I am sure change will come, and as long as we believe in the device, we can make it successful. I can guarantee that this is the solution for marginal farmers spending huge money during harvest time.

Cheers,
Kiran S.

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... if you have any of your friends coming over to India. Kindly do let me know, I shall collect the blades from them.

Stay in touch and am pretty sure that your effort will be remembered. This effort will save a lot of back breaking work and boost the productivity for marginal farmers.

Kind Regards,
Kiran S.

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Hi !

I am from India interested in learning agriculture.
I find the scythe one of the "must have" tools for a farmer.
Unfortunately just a few have heard of it in India leave alone
owning / using it.
And your site is concerned about european / american / western users.
Our country still has a sizeable work force in farm labour and use of a scythe would be advantageous.
Can you help me in getting one scythe for demo purpose.

Thanks,
Boovarahan S.
Chennai, India

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Hi !

Thanks for your reply.
Just a couple of weeks back my paddy harvest was over.
I had to shell a lot of money for the harvest .
I am looking for a progressive blacksmith / fabricator who can understand and make a nice scythe.
This may take a couple of months. Yet I am determined to make one for my personal use.
I'll keep you posted of the developments.

Thanks again for your reply.
Good luck,
Boovarahan S.

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Hi Alexander,

Hope you are doing well.
As per suggestion, I made the scythe handle little longer and now it is much more easier. I use it more regularly to cut long grasses...

Also does the Turkey company started selling blades in India? I feel this is a beautiful tool and due to some reason, people are not using it on this part of the world or it was not properly introduced yet.

Regards,
Nandan P.
Kerala, India

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Dear Alexander,

Thanks so much for sending the sickle and the shorter blade for the scythe. Have been using these for a month now and am finding both of them to be very useful.

The smaller blade scythe is a lot more useful for tougher weeds etc, which our original blade was finding challenging. That brings me to the issue of training for effective scythe use - when you swing a scythe, it looks deceptively simple, which is what I thought too, when I first saw it in action. I could not thank you enough for your tips and the primer that you arranged for me through Steve. However, as I started using the scythe, realized that there was a lot more involved in using and maintaining a scythe successfully. Despite the mini bootcamp that you facilitated, I am still not sure whether I am using it effectively. More sustained and intensive training can help me with this and I hope we have manage this sometime in the near future.

s While using the longer blade, I have had problems with chips and 'tears' on the blade, which I am not sure how to fix. For now, have to make do with learning repair work from a book and fix the same, which may not yield desirable results. I think it would be far more productive to learn fixing from an experienced person.

In short, there seem to be a lot of factors contributing to a positive experience with the scythe and novices like me could do with some serious handholding during the initial days to help us come upto speed. This handholding period, which I could call a scythe bootcamp phase, could really determine whether the scythe is used effectively long term or just end up as yet another piece of novelty that gathers dust.

Time to organize some bootcamps in Asia :)
In gratitude,
Ramji S.
Pondicherry, India

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Dear sir,

I work in Himachal Pradesh as a doctor. Many patients suffer from back ache and arthritis of knees from squatting for long hours during field work like cutting grass and harvesting. I came across scythe and feel that this may help. I was going to buy motorized harvester but want to give scythe a chance... please could you let me know any contact either in India or in Nepal to buy some scythes.

I will be grateful for your help.
Sincerely,
Dr. Sheilaji V.
Himachal Pradesh, India

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Dear Mr. Alexander,

Sorry for this delayed response, I was in the field last one week and just got back and writing to you.
First, we will be happy to work/help in any manner. As regards scythe, we work on reducing drudgery, especially of women, in farming. In this journey we felt that scythe would be very useful and got two from Austria to study the blade and handle details and then made some for trials which showed it as working well but the person using it must be trained. The forest and rural development department got interested and purchased a few pieces, while some  farmers also purchased them.
We have not taken its production and marketing very seriously as we are a NGO and cant do business. Our aim was to suggest others to make and market them...

Thanks and a happy Diwali,
K. S. Gopal
Center for Environment Concerns
Hyderabad, India

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Dear Mr. Vido,

Great hearing back from you. 
We are a small scale Ragi growers. Our current harvesting methods are traditional methods which includes a lot of labour.

Yes, we do tie it in sheaves once it is harvested and stored like haystack. The separation and reaping process is conducted post that.

Please keep me informed if you are visiting India so that we can definitely take some great tips from you. I will be more than happy to meet you and assist you if you need any help from me.

Thank you for all the support once again.
Regards,
Raghu K
Bangalore, India

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Dear Mr. Vido,

I had the pleasure of watching the use of scythes while studying tooling for women working on coffee farms. I have a small coffee plot myself. Weeding takes up most of women's time and we still use poor quality machetes for the job, and have to be doubled up for months. The alternatives have been weedicides (I grow organically) and/or brushcutters (well not ergonomic for Indian women for sure - my hands get numb after 30 minutes). I was interested in options for small holders who want to have ecological options for weeding.

I read on your website that you will be in India sometime in November and December. I am trying to procure a scythe myself through a woman tool dealer locally. She would have to import it anyways. Please let me know the best way forward.

Kind regards,
Saleela P.
Kodagu Karnataka, India

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Hi Alexander.

I have grown to love the Scythe even more. Too bad my day job keeps keeping away from it. I used it on weekend to weed out grass. At the moment we have problem with weeds out grown the rice due to drought at seeding time. That made weed a head start of rice.

The application of Scythe now is to use it to cut top part of rice leaf and weeds. This reset the two to the same height but rice will out grow the weeds. I will send you pictures or videos later.

People starts to borrow my scythes!

Thanks,
Saiyoot in Thailand

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In 2015 I was receiving more inquiries and at some point I stoped posting them all...