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    jab planter automatic

    By George Munene

    A Ngara company is offering country-wide delivery of double-barreled seed and fertilizer planters that enable quicker, cheaper and easier standing planting. A jab planter can sow 8000-10 000 sq m per day--an efficiency rate that is four to five times faster than conventional planting methods. 

    The planter can be used for both seeding and applying fertilizer concurrently and is available for Sh4500.

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    Double barrel jab seed planters have an adjustable planting depth and seed quantity that is adjustable and can be used to sow large plots quickly and easily. This lessens seasonal planting hustle for farmers as well as reducing their planting cost as less time is spent on seeding and fertiliser application.

    Jab planter

    The tool needs planting soils to be loose and cultivated, it is especially effective in sandy soils and is best suitable for seeds such as maize, beans and peas. It can also be used to disperse selective fertilizers together. 

    The planter has spring-loaded tips that are pushed for seeds and fertilizer to be deposited automatically into loose soil. 

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    It is not meant for small seeds and may be uneconomical for farmers looking to sow smaller plots of land. It takes a basic level of mechanical ability to adjust the planter.

    Hand planters are especially popular on farms in Asia.

     

    For more information and inquiries: 0702584146 

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    photo bateau asobo 1

    By George Munene

    ASOBO, a Mbita based start-up founded in 2019 leverages electric engine power that reduces the daily cost of operating fishing boats by around 25 per cent.

    Given the upfront cost of purchasing the electric motors are high; the company offers the e-boarders as a long-term rental with the daily rental rates on average lower than what fishers currently spend. This enables them to save money in the long run.

    Included will also be the full financing of the system, daily recharging of the batteries, all necessary maintenance and repairs, training of boat owners and crew and a 24/7 helpline with rescue back-up.

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    Speaking to How we made it in Africa company co-founder Laurens Friso explains; “The primary issue for the consumers is cost, and fuel is by far the biggest contributor. Fishers have very little leverage when buying petrol or diesel. There is also a high degree of unreliability and maintenance expense that comes with a traditional petrol or diesel engines, along with a high upfront cost. With our electric engines, the daily cost is on average around 25 per cent cheaper, and our service model means the costs are a lot more predictable, which makes things a lot easier if, for example, there is a bad catch on a particular day.”

    Using electric outboard engines – e-Boarders – powered by renewable energy also improves the livelihoods of people depending on Lake Victoria by greatly reducing harmful emissions and pollutants of the lake’s ecosystem. This is especially important given 76 per cent of the lake’s fish species are threatened by extinction which will have a bearing on the livelihoods of 30-50 million people.

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    Fishermen are able to acquire the electric outboard engines on a pay-as-you-go basis. Their incomes the company points out will increase as tens of thousands of small-scale fishers in Lake Victoria often waste money on inefficient, inconvenient, unreliable, and highly polluting petrol outboard engines. The electric-powered engines promise predictability, reliability, and affordability, whilst being comfortable and safe.

    The e-boats run on 24-3500 battery with 3.5 kWh that comes with a backup service in case anything goes wrong. They are developed by Torqeedo, a German global leader in developing electric outboard motors.

    Phone: +254 114 833 688

    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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    156918060 3827180970695423 300090371363423092 o

    By George Munene 

    Through the use of ripper ploughs in conservation agriculture farmers are able to halve their production cost while advantaging themselves in ways not accessible to farmers practicing traditional conventional agriculture.

    “In conventional agriculture, land preparation before planting entails first ploughing, this in Western Kenya costs a farmer Sh3000 for every acre. This is then preceded by a second ploughing which costs a similar amount. After planting farmers often practice their first and second weeding; 10 hands can weed an acre of land with each paid Sh300 for the day's work. In all, this sets a farmer back Sh12,500,” explains Geoffrey Wanjala, a field agronomist who is also Busia’s Farmer Service Centers Senior Agribusiness Coordinator. 

    With ripping, in conservation agriculture farmers are whittling down this to just Sh5,500 an acre. This constitutes Sh2,500 in charges for hiring a tractor-mounted ripper; buying herbicides as well as the option of hiring spray service providers each costing Sh500. In maize farming, an additional Sh1,500 is used in weeding herbicides coupled with a similar Sh500 charge in spraying cost.

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    Ripping services are accessible to farmers across the country through satellite Farmer Service Centres available in 12 counties across the country. This is a network of over 300 agricultural extension workers that help farmers aggregate their ploughing land to make it commercially feasible for ploughing service providers to work on smaller land sizes. “We have availed this service to farmers across most counties in Western, Nyanza, Rift Valley and Eastern regions,” Wanjala says.

    Moreover, conservation agriculture has many other advantages that include: preserving soil structure and the intactness of soil microorganisms as the soil is minimally tilled; increasing soil fertility; reduction of water erosion—rippers are fitted with tines that penetrate the soil to a depth of up to 30 centimeters, this increases water percolation and reduces water runoff. Also, by perforating deep into the soil profile, ripping gives crop roots access to leached minerals.

    Disk ploughs and hand-held hoes can only reach a depth of 10-15 centimeters, this creates a hardpan that encourages erosion when it rains by preventing water from trickling into the soil. This hardpan also causes lateral rooting which means crops are easily susceptible to drought.

    Moisture conservation in arid regions—decomposing crop residue forms mulch which cools the environment around the plant’s roots. It also provides warmth over the cold season improving crop performance.

    Ripping creates furrows or rip lines where fertilisers and seeds are then sowed in manually or through use of tractor mounted planters. This further reduces production costs by eliminating the need for digging holes or furrows. “Once a farmer has conducted two or three ripping sessions which would have completely broken soil hardpans, they can entirely practice zero tillage which exerts even less in planting costs by totally doing away with ploughing,” Emmanuel says.    

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    Rippers are however limited in their use as they cannot be used to break ground for crops such as potatoes which first require to be ploughed vertically with chisel ploughs to break hard pans before ripping. 

    As more farmers embrace the use of ripping in land preparation, Wanjala argues the technology’s costs are only bound to reduce; “ripper mounted tractors consume less fuel than the ones fitted with disc ploughs. This makes their operationalisation far cheaper for ploughing service providers. There is currently a dearth of ripper ploughs but as more farmers opt for the use of this technology there is bound to be a corresponding increase in its service provider which will lead to a reduction in the pricing of ripping services,” he argues.

    Farmer Service Centre

    Geoffrey Wanjala: 0710454130

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