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    High Yield

    Favour machinery and Auto Spares has introduced a new brush cutter that can trim one acre of weeds and unwanted foliage using half a liter of petrol only. The simple device suitable for smallholder farmers is a hand held powered multipurpose tool with 3.5 liter capacity engine used to cut Napier grass, trim fences, flowers, boma Rhodes, and shrubs. It is a big relief Smallholder farmers have been using slashers and pangas to remove weeds in their farms. 

    A brush cutter uses a metal blade that cuts through dense vegetation and tree trunks up to 4 inches thick. According to Kelvin Kigen who is sales representative at the company, brush cutters offer more power and versatility than ordinary trimmers and costs Ksh 25,000. 

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    Kelvin Kigen, a sales representative at Favour Machinery demonstrating how to use a brush cutter at the 2017 Central Kenya National Show, Nyeri County. PHOTO JAPHET RUTO

    While using the machine, farmers are advised to wear personal protective equipment including steel capped safety boots (lace-up) and full face safety helmet with hearing and eye protection.  Brush cutters have a specific cutting area meaning the user cannot just cut the vegetation from any direction. The blades of the machine rotate counterclockwise hence the user must move from right to left when cutting.

    READ ALSO: Farmers report instant gains from milking machines  

    The cutting zone is from the top of the blade to 90 degrees left, so it is important to feed the blade into the brush or vegetation slowly, so the head is pressed against the material rather than swung at it. If you use a chopping motion to cut with a brush cutter, the machine may smoke and stop working because branches and other material may bind around the blades, causing it to overheat.

    READ ALSO: Machine helps one farmer shell eight 90kg sacks of maize a day

    Brush cutters feature different blade attachments that allow you to cut a variety of materials. They’re generally durable and reliable machines, as long as they receive proper maintenance. However, the blade life depends on what you’re cutting and how often. For example, if you’re working frequently in rocky areas or cutting through hard stems or branches, you may have to change or sharpen the blade daily. Before each use, you should check the blade sharpness, because working with a dull blade shortens service life and can pose a safety hazard.

    READ ALSO: Farmers thresh 110kg of wheat per hour free with KALRO machine

    They are powerful enough to cut through overgrown brush that a lawn mower or line trimmer can’t handle. They also cut in hard-to-reach areas where larger machines can’t enter. However, most brush cutters are cumbersome to operate, and if you have to clear a large area, fatigue can occur. Most brush cutters have a straight shaft and anti-vibration features to reduce operator fatigue. Using a harness also helps control the machine and lightens the load as you work.

    Brush cutters are powerful tools that carry some risks if proper safety procedures aren’t followed. You should never operate a brush cutter without a harness, nor should you use a brush cutter that isn’t equipped with a handlebar. The handlebar is what helps you control the tool, and it also serves as a barrier to prevent injury should the machine be knocked out of your hands. Never use the machine within 50 feet of other people.

    Kigen can be reached on +254705466313 or +254722531778.


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             Damliner full of water.

    Residents especially farmers in most parts of the country have the next seven days opportunity to harvest rain water for future use following the yesterday’s alerts by the Kenya Meteorological Department that most places in the country will receive heavy rainfall.

    The seven-day forecast which covers periods between September 19 and 25 will for instance see the coastal strip receive between 20mm and 50mm of rainfall beginning today through Thursday.

    The coastal strip which includes Mombasa, Lamu, Kilifi, Kwale and Tana River counties have started witnessing heavy rainfall with Kwale and Mombasa notably in the lead according to the Meteorological Department’s assistant director Mr. Samwel Mwangi.

    This according to Mwangi will soon spread towards the north coast beginning today. “In an event the department identifies any significant changes in weather patterns, we always give alerts that the country may be aware,” he said.

    Though Mwangi said other regions will receive rainfall but not as heavy as the coast, residents of Gusii region that includes Kisii and nyamira Counties yesterday witnessed heavy rains that saw most rivers full breaking river banks.

    Evans Kongai, a farmer in Mawawa ward Nyamira County, must be a happy farmer. He just completed digging and installing his 5x8x2 metres damliner and 1000 litres tank of water at a cost of Sh11, 000 with a support he got from an agro financier.

    “I am delighted that the rains have come at the right time when my water harvesting kits are already in place. This assures me enough water for my farming activities later in the year and beginning of next year,” said Kongai.


    Evans Kongai in his just completed damliner.

    According to Rains Foundation Kenya organisatin, it doesn’t rain much in Kenya, mostly twice in a year in a few weeks of extremely heavy downpour. Therefore, o prevent drought and food scarcity, it is essential to make the best use of that water by upping our water harvesting techniques.

    The organisation further notes that of all the countries in East Africa, Kenya has been at the forefront of many innovative technologies to capture the scarce rainwater that large parts of the country receive.

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    knapsack power sprayer.JPG

    Kelvin Kigen of Favour Machinery demonstrating how to use the Knapsack Power sprayer at the 2017  Nyeri National Show

     Favour Machinery and Auto Spares is selling high quality Knapsack power sprayer for smallholder farmers. The 20 liter capacity sprayer is powered by a 3 liter petrol engine which can spray up to spray one acre of crops to prevent them from pests & diseases and animals to prevent them from pests like ticks.  

    The Power Knapsack sprayer model AC 767 makes between 6500 to 7500 revolutions per minute and discharges 7 to 10 liters of chemicals per minute.

    According to Kelvin Kigen, a sales representative at the company, the power sprayer is different from the normal manual sprayer as it is highly effective, minimizes wastage of chemicals and saves on time. The product is  known for its features like durability, easy to use, excellent quality, high performance, less maintenance and long service life.

    READ ALSO: Youth invents low cost farm machines

    The company has sold more than 1,200 such sprayers to smallholder farmers in Subukia, Laikipia, Emining, Kisii, Kerugoya, Eldoret, Meru, Ravine, Thika, Chuka and Murang’a.

    “When operating the sprayer it is important to wear gauze mask, safety helmet and long sleeve clothes or an apron” said Kigen.

    READ ALSO: Juice machine helps farmers earn six times more from sugarcane

    Refuel the sprayer when the motor is cool. The operator should also ensure there is enough ventilation if the motor is started in a room. Never eat anything or smoke when working and always check on the nozzle to avoid blockage.

    READ ALSO: KARI launches feed making machine to preserve dwindling pasture

    Expectant mothers, tired or sick people are advised to avoiding using the sprayer in their condition as this may affect their health levels.

    The power knapsack sprayer is sold by Favor Company at between Kshs. 20,000 to Kshs. 25,000 depending on the brand. Knapsack sprayers need to be serviced, maintained and calibrated correctly. 

    Kelvin Kigen can be reached on +254722531778 or +254705466313



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