Potato farmers can now harvest their crops without injuries, which accelerate rotting and reduced selling lifespan, with the new cheap hand-pulled multipurpose tractor from the King-Bird machineries.
The company’s Marketing Manager Caleb Michael said the tractor also known as the Power Tiller enables farmers deal with post-harvest losses arising from cut potatoes.
“More than 20 per cent of potatoes go bad after harvests because of cuts, which allow for entry of destructive micro-organisms. The potato harvester component goes deep from the start of the ridges to loosen the soil, leaving the produce behind for collection,” he said.
Injured potatoes go bad in three to seven days while whole ones can last for three weeks. But if some procedures are followed in curing, their shelf-life can be extended to seven months.
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The finger-like projections of the machine go deep into the soil without getting into direct contact with the tubers.
As the name of the tractor suggest, Power Tiller, which consumes six litres of diesel per acre, has three sets of cultivation blades.
The four-group dry-land blades open up hard land while deep-tillage sheers break hardpans while mixing the upper and lower soils for uniformity of texture and nutrients.
The 152kg machine has more specialised blades for tillage of fields, where tough grass and other weeds are thriving.
Open groove helps farmers in making drills for sowing crops like beans. This attachment also enables the farmers make ridges for potatoes.
“Small-scale farmers want to buy a cheap machine that allows them execute multiple operations. In addition to making work easy, it has to be cost-effective as well as affordable. That is why the machine costs Sh95,000,” Michael said.
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A farmer can mount a water pump for irrigation and other uses in addition to a trolley for carrying luggage. A spray pump for application of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals can also be attached.
Interested farmers can reach sales persons on +254728487522, +254728498427 and +254724107459.