One of the diesel decorticators made by Alex Odundo. He is assembling and selling sisal and banana fibre dicorticator machines to farmers in most parts of the country.
A Kisumu Polytechnic graduate is seeking to reignite sisal farming in the country by manufacturing a machine that can easily extract the sisal fibres and has so far reached over 10,000 farmers nationally.
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Production and exports of sisal fibre reached 68,000 and 58,000 metric tonnes per annum respectively in 1965 with sisal plantation hitting over 120, 000 hectares while the Industry employed over 20,000 people directly and many more indirectly according to Kenya Sisal Industry.
However, this has since changed in the recent years. Sisal farming has been neglected by many Kenyan farmers in favour of other crops such as sugarcane, tobacco, tea and coffee among other cash crops.
Alex Odundo has for the last seven years made and sold over 100 sisal fibre decorticator to over 10, 000 farmers in Kenya. “Over the years many farmers who used to grow sisal have abandoned the crop. The few sisal grown nowadays are just found along land boundaries for demarcation purposes and not commercially grown,” said Odundo.
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In his workshop-Olex Techno Enterprise based in Kisumu town he buys imported machine parts including the engines, assembles them into a complete operation machine ready for the market.
In this, Odundo has reached approximately 10 to 15 farmer groups whereby only one machine can serve many. “One machine can serve about ten families in a given area so interested farmers form groups and buy one machine which they can share among themselves,” he said.
Farmers place orders for a machine of their choice depending on the capacity that they require. It is then delivered to them at half the cost of the whole transport meaning the workshop share half the transport cost although some customers prefer visiting the workshop to collect the machines themselves.
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““We do deliver our products within one week after payments however some customers who would like a demonstration on how the machines work before they buy, come to the workshop and leave with their products upon purchase,” said Odundo.
Their prices range from Sh80, 000 to Sh200, 000 depending on the capacity. He has also managed to them to countries such as Tanzania, Rwanda, Madagascar, Somaliland, and Nigeria among others.
The decorticators can also be used to extract banana fibers.
Odundo has seven employees in his workshop, five others in the field while there are others who are occasionally contacted to help demonstrate to farmers how the machines work in case of deliveries.
The workshop is currently working on gender friendly decorticators as the current ones are heavy to operate, said Odundo.
To find Odundo or his products, visit sifamachinery.wordpress.com or call him on 0724719567