Farmers urged to embrace technology through introduction of hand driven tillers

Farmers urged to embrace technology through introduction of hand driven tillers

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Agricultural officers demonstrating to farmers on how the machine operates. PHOTO: NIXON KISAKA.

Taita Taveta, KENYA: Farmers in Taita Taveta county have been urged to embrace modern technology in their farming so as to boost their crop production for both commercial and domestic use.

Speaking on Friday during the launch of multi-function power tillers (hand driven tractors) in Werugha ward Wundanyi sub county, the county governor John Mruttu said that they will simplify agricultural practices.

“The machines are designed to operate in hilly terrain as compared to the normal tractors that operate well in flat areas. They can navigate in that kind of terrain with ease thus making farming activity easier, save time and cut down production costs for farmers,” said Mruttu.

He also advised farmers to enquire from agricultural specialists about the preferred fertilizers to use in their farms, so as to avoid poor crop production.

The county’s CECM for agriculture, livestock and fisheries Ben Mghana also urged farmers especially those coming from hilly areas in the county, to take advantage of the latest farming technique that will help boost their yields.

“As we embrace modern technology, let us apply it in all fields; agriculture been one of them. In agriculture, farm mechanization is evolving every time therefore we must make efforts to benefit from it by boosting our productivity in our farming fields,” said Mghana.

Meanwhile jobless youths and women in the county have been urged to invest in mechanized farming as a source of acquiring income.

The county CECM for trade and community affairs Florah Mtuweta, urged youths and women to form groups and get loans from the county’s DATU sawazisha fund that offers interest free loans, in order to purchase the modern farming equipment.

The introduction of small hand driven tractors in the county is mainly expected to benefit farmers in hilly terrain areas including Wundanyi, Werugha, Mghange, Mwanda, Rong’e among others, where normal big tractors can’t reach them.

The county agriculture department in conjunction with US AID (KAVES) launched the use of multi function power tillers to farmers in the county early this week, so as to boost the farm mechanization strategies by the department.

The high powered diesel/petrol driven engine machines, consume approximately four liters of fuel to plow an acre of land.

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They have a power take off point similar to that of a common known tractor, and though they are mainly for plowing, they are also multi-purposely designed i.e. they can operate as a hay cutter, grass mowers, shredders, fertilizer/salt lime spreader, pump water sprayer, planter, maize Sheller, chaff cutter among other functions.

The tillers costs approximately shs. 100, 000 each, and have ability to till an acre of land within two hours depending on the land scale and user expertise.