Small scale farmers can thresh three bags of sorghum per hour with the new Jomo Kenyatta University cereal thresher with a petrol engine.
“Some farmers in western Kenya are facing challenges in threshing sorghum for sale to the East African Breweries which has contracted more than 50,000 farmers to supply them with the produce,” said Simon Kariuki, an engineer at JKUAT who invented the machine two years ago.
The machine costs Sh160,000 and will help farmers reduce the threshing time of sorghum and other cereal grains such as maize and wheat fourfold.
While large scale farmers use combined harvesters to reap, thresh, winnow and pack wheat into sacks at the farm, smallholders use rods to strike the grains before drying and storing.
The small-holders also require more labour than the large-scale holders since they have to manually thresh the sorghum heads with the rods, winnow, dry and package the produce for marketing or storage.
Farmers threshing sorghum with the machine. FarmBiz Africa
To use the machine ignite it then put the heads of the sorghum into the hood. Whipping will then start and only clear grains will be collected through a sieve to be collected at the far end.
Sorghum stalk leftovers will be ejected through an outlet and discarded as thrash.
“This machine guarantees 75 per cent grain removal from sorghum heads and ensures that farmers produce grains free from soil or stones or any other unwanted materials,” said Kariuki.
The only maintenance required is the oiling of the moving parts to reduce rusting and friction.
Over the last decade, the sorghum value chain has become vibrant, in direct response to the guaranteed market EABL presents to farmers. The company has continuously reached out to farmers, encouraging them to grow quality sorghum for commercial consumption.
According to the 2018 Economic Survey Report, Kenya produced 144,000 metric tonnes of sorghum in 2017 and imported 133,000 metric tonnes to curb the deficit.
Interested farmers can reach Kariuki on +254 726 860 820.