Precision planters help farmers curb seed, time loss

Most cereal farmers waste a lot of time and seed through poor planting methods, according to Sygnata, a global cereals seller. In a move to reduce the losses sustained during this stage of production, several agricultural equipment companies in Kenya have developed precision planters of diverse sizes and use to accommodate both large and smallholder farmers.
Dume Limited is one of such companies. The company assembling has built a low cost maize seed planter capable of uniformly planting two rows at ago.
The planter also has a fertilizer injection tool that allows farmers to carry out two functions-seed planting and fertilizer applicaiton- concurrently. The fertilizer section has adjustable metering units which are made of steel and are controlled by opening and closing a gate, allowing uniformity in the quantity of fertilizer going into every hole.
The fertilizer is put into the ground behind a heavy duty spring-loaded tine, which penetrates the ground approximately five-inches deep. Only the tine point penetrates the ground and its depth is achieved by two control wheels on the back of the main planter frame. Behind each tine is an adjustable fertilizer pipe, a simple adjustment of the pipe allows the operator to change the placement of the fertilizer up and down.
The seeding parallelogram follows 25 inches behind the fertilizer tine. The precision seed metering unit is of a vertical spoon pick up seed disc that places the seed directly behind the seeding point. Seed planting depth is controlled by adjustable double press wheels running behind the parallelogram. The seed spacing can be changed easily by simply selecting a different gear on a centrally mounted gear box.
According to Francis Macharia, a marketing officer at the company, the seed planter is easy to maintain as it only requires cleaning and oiling to avoid rusting and easy movement. The planter doesn’t require much skill to operate and small ones can be pulled manually by animals while bigger ones can be attached to tractors. The planter costs Sh90,000,  which can be paid in three equal installments and comes with two sizes of spoon pickup discs, one for large seeds like maize and beans, and the other for smaller seeds.
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Farmers can buy this tool by emailing Dume Limited via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 020-2186668.