JKUAT tricycle which has a capacity of carrying 750 kilograms at a time. Photo courtecy.
University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) researchers have developed a simple three wheeler machine called tricycle with a capacity of carrying up to 750 kilograms of farm produce from one point to another and has 200 cc engine capacity as compared to the first tricycle which had 500 cc engine.
The tricycle which is partly a motorcycle resemblance but the front part has motor vehicle characteristics had its development idea conceived in 2005 with many transporter machines developed along which included bicycles.
However, in 2015 the researchers came up with the first tricycle with 500 cc engine but this was not as effective as they wanted. Sometime later the researchers came up with 150 cc engine tricycle before assembling the latest 200 cc tricycle.
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According to the university Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga the developments are geared towards making it easier for farmers and farm managers to work effectively without incurring losses especially those that come with post-harvests.
“JKUAT has developed a number of cost effective and locally adaptable innovations on value addition and post-harvest handling and management that could benefit farmers in Kenya and beyond, said Imbuga.
The models which have already attracted many farmers especially small scale farmers can be used both in rural and urban areas to transport various farm produce such as milk, crops to the market and agricultural inputs to the farm.
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This comes at a time when most farmers especially tomato farmers from various parts of the country are recording post-harvest losses after the heavy rains experienced in the country causing transport challenges.
Furthermore the tricycle has a pump attachment, hence the engine can be used for irrigation.
The tricycle has its drive motion initiated from the motorcycle engine through a simple gearbox coupled to the final drive differential unit that is similar to those of vehicles with front drive connected by propeller shaft. It whole body is mounted on a wide framework called chassis.
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Other innovations by JKUAT include solar drier for fruits and vegetables, fruit pulper for extracting different fruit juices and plant mill among others. The university also last year developed Yuvra 215 tractor which requires about three litres of diesel to till one acre.