A graduate of Kisumu Polytechnic is making work easier for smallholder farmers with his array of low cost agricultural machineries at a time when mechanized agriculture is gaining grounds in the country.
It is a journey Alex Adundo has walked with passion, after being employed by an Indian family right after school where he honed his skills. His prowess in making agricultural machines and easing the burden to local farmers has seen him being invited to the prestigious Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) talks in US to explain the role his machines play in making lives manageable for ordinary farmers.
His flagship machines include a bicycle pump, a sisal decorticator, a spooling machine and hydro floating pump.
He has set up base at Kibuye Market situated in Kisumu due to its strategic location and due to the fact that traders across Nyanza and Western regions meet. Among his most selling machines are sisal spinning and harvesting ones, especially by traders and farmers in Western Kenya where sisal farming is predominantly practiced.
Through his company Olex Technology, Adundo earns up to Sh500,000 from the sale of a decorticator, a machine used in stripping the green outer cover of a sisal leaf then grinding the inner fibre into unique strands. The machine relies on petrol and diesel to operate.
He also makes spooling machine which picks the sisal strands and rolls them into different quantities meant for sale.
“I have grown in an agricultural family and society and I have seen first hand how farmers have struggled, wasting too much manpower, spending too much time and energy before they can acquire the end product. When my parents took me to school I vowed to make the lives of smallholder farmers easier. Majority of the smallholder farmers cannot access these expensive machines. I had to think of how to localize technology,” Adundo said. All his machines are portable.
But aware that even though his machines are out of reach for most of the smallholder farmers, Adundo has introduced a lending scheme where the farmers can rent the machines at Sh300 a day. That way I make sure that no farmer is frustrated. At the end of the day it is about uplifting the farmers’ lives,” he added.
Demand for his machines has picked up predominantly based on word of mouth. On average he makes five machines each month which are based on orders.
His clients come from as far as Nairobi and Mombasa. The sisal twine and the bicycle twin are his original ideas which he has patented.
Adundo looks at the day that he will be able to make low cost machines for all aspects of crop production and livestock farming as he believes that is the bottleneck to full uptake of agriculture in the country. Already he is working on a weeding machine. “Smallholder farmers spend a huge chunk of their money and time hiring labourers to weed out their farms. The solution is simple and this machine could be the answer to it,” he said.
For more information contacts below: