Dagoretti farmers try out 2-wheel tractors

Small-holder farmers in Kenya can now use 2-wheel tractors to easily till their lands as oppose to traditional jembe and hand.

This comes after volunteers from the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) in December last year organised an agricultural machinery seminar and demonstration in Dagoretti that focused on 2-wheel tractors for small-scale farmers.

Led by Kazuo Ishikawa, a senior volunteer under the JICA Volunteer program, assigned to the Toyota Kenya Academy (TKA), the organisers showcased tractors from India, China and Japan, while showing their effectiveness in ploughing.

Participants left the seminar with the understanding that they can get a lot more work done on their farms, with little investment in mechanisation.

Among the brands which showcased their machinery was Japan’s Yanmar, which is marketed in Kenya by Toyota.

Advice

The event came at a time when the country’s farmers are being pushed towards modern farming practices as a way of increasing yields.

Nduati Kariuki, the chairman of the Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers, in a separate event, advised farmers to embrace mechanisation because it “saves on the long-term costs and improves productivity.”

Market entry

With the machinery market holding better promise, manufacturers are working to create an impression.

Recently, SAME Deutz-Fahr, an Italian manufacturer of agricultural equipment, and Simba Motor Corporation signed an agreement that will see the latter handle the distribution and sales of SAME tractors in Kenya.

Further, companies such as FMD have reported increased sales (FMD’s sales have doubled) since 2006, in part due to sensitization campaigns and proper after sales services.