A tractor at the Thika Technical Training Institute. farmers can request tractor services via mobile phones. Photo by Laban Robert.
Farmers seeking mechanisation services can book regionally stationed tractor by opening a communication account via their mobile telephones.
Quipbank Trust Limited allows farmers to request for a given service via an SMS or its ‘TINGA’ downloadable app.
Through the app, farmers create accounts based on the service they are seeking, location as well as the size of the land.
To book, one sends the word ‘TINGA’ to 22150 via SMS. Upon receipt of the request, the tractor moves into the area for the service.
Standby tractor operators in various counties receive the instructions on the requested service before moving into action.
The services include ploughing, planting, spaying, harvesting, mowing, among others.
The service is already in Nakuru, Narok, Laikipia, Nyandarua, Kericho, Bomet, Meru, Trans-Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Kiambu, Migori, among other counties.
The cost of buying and maintaining machinery is prohibitive for most farmers, who may want to bring more land under cultivation.
Despite banks offering up to 80 per cent machinery loans, hiring become the better option for the farmers, who may not buy every attachment implements, which may include sprayers, harvesters, disk ploughs, trolleys, among others.
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Besides the high purchasing costs, the farmers have to meet maintenance costs from time to time despite the tractor lying idle after a given season if the accompanying implements aren’t available.
Farmers having idle tractors can make an extra coin by registering their machines, which are incorporated in the partnership programme.
Buying the implements – one at a time - after every season may help farmers who may want to hire their machines to the colleagues to earn more. This is, however, limited to those who can afford the tractor.
United Nations’ agency, Food and Agriculture Organisation, says farm mechanisation can boost farmer’s production by more than 40 per cent.
Operations with machines is fast, less time consuming besides being cheap at the long-run due to multitasking.
Some information was borrowed from Hortinews, a news website for farmers.
Call +154702893612 for help.