Business

Keep your chicks and ripen bananas in style

Keep your chicks and ripen bananas in style
  • Jecinta Njihia of the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation says other than providing heat to the chicks, the mother hen does not offer anything else.
  • The box is made up of plastic pipes to hold the bananas. Boniface Kiptoo from Kaiboi Technical Training Institute, Nandi County, said a farmer puts in the box mature passion fruits alongside the bananas.
  • Joseph Wanyieki, an agricultural officer from Uasin Gishu County, explained that the machine that goes for Sh15,000 threshes maize that has moisture content of 13 to 14 per cent without breaking the seeds.
  • The equipment is designed for the single phase posho mill but can be redesigned for other phases. The ATM machine goes for Sh25,000.

All farmers yearn to have affordable machines that can help them do work faster and with precision. Some of these machines were on display at the Eldoret agricultural show last week:

Hay brooder box

This is designed for small-scale poultry farmers to help day-old chicks generate heat. It is made up of a wooden box with hay placed on each side, held together by wire mesh.

On top is a sack with hay grass to act as heat source and on one side, there is a door as well as small holes for air circulation.

Jecinta Njihia of the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation says other than providing heat to the chicks, the mother hen does not offer anything else.

She explained that to maximise productivity, poultry farmers should separate the mother hen from the chicks when they have stopped feeding on chick mash.

The brooder measuring 30x52x52cm can hold 30 chicks at a go, allowing the mother hen to continue laying eggs.

Ripening box

The innovation targets banana growers and sellers as it helps speed up the ripening of the fruits naturally for quick returns.

The box is made up of plastic pipes to hold the bananas. Boniface Kiptoo from Kaiboi Technical Training Institute, Nandi County, said a farmer puts in the box mature passion fruits alongside the bananas.

The former release ethylene gas that speeds up the ripening process, making the bananas to ripen in three days. The ratio is half-a-kilo of passion fruit for five kilos of bananas.

Clockwise from left: Jecinta Njihia of the
Clockwise from left: Jecinta Njihia of the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation explains how the hay brooder box works, Bernard Cheruyoit from the Eldoret National Polytechnic showcases the self-service posho mill and bananas inside the ripening box during the Eldoret agricultural show last week. PHOTOS | STANLEY KIMUGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The shelf-life of the passion fruits is one week and one can use them twice to naturally ripen the bananas.

Hand maize sheller

The machine is manually operated and one places dried maize inside. A farmer then rotates it and as he turns the shelling teeth, the gadget does the task.

Joseph Wanyieki, an agricultural officer from Uasin Gishu County, explained that the machine that goes for Sh15,000 threshes maize that has moisture content of 13 to 14 per cent without breaking the seeds.

Self-service posho mill

The dispensing machine helps one sell flour just as the milk ATM does. Bernard Cheruyoit from the Eldoret National Polytechnic said the ATM is calibrated in such a way that one slots in coins to allow the machine to grind the grains before releasing the flour on the other end.

The equipment is designed for the single phase posho mill but can be redesigned for other phases. The ATM machine goes for Sh25,000.

Solar-powered aquaponics greenhouse

This gadget uses the aquaponics system, which combines aquaculture and crops farming in a symbiotic environment.

It has an immersible pump that allows water circulation from the fish pond to the plants and back to the pond.

Simon Mbatia from Blue Fish Farmers Co-operative, which has 30 members, said it allows farmers to tap the sun energy and grow both crops and fish.