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Conservation Agriculture creates employment opportunities for local artisans

“Collins you created the demand for ripping in this county, therefore, I have to fill the gap by serving potential CA adopter farmers” Mr. Mukabana uttered. He attests that his net income rose by 40% since he uses only 4 litres of fuel per acre when ripping as opposed to close to 10 litres of diesel while discing; maintenance cost & downtime significantly reduced; takes only 30 minutes to rip an acre as opposed to 60 minutes required to disc plough an acre.

For several years Engineer Washington Mukabana has been a mechanization service provider (MSP) offering disc ploughing services to his clients in his neighbourhood. Mr. Mukabana also doubles up as a local artisan who owns a fabrication workshop in Musoli town, Ikolomani Sub-County in Kakamega County.

From his years of providing disc ploughing services, he reckons that the overall disc ploughing practice is not only expensive in terms of fuel consumption, time and maintenance but also leads to unnecessary soil disturbance.

It was after attending a Conservation Agriculture training organized by PAFID - an organization implementing Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) project in collaboration with Cereal Growers Association (CGA) - that he decided to change tact.  FtMA is a consortium of agri-focused organizations led by the World Food Programme (WFP), that has been in operation since 2017 – with an aim of improving smallholder farmer value chains and creating linkages between farmers and the private sector. The overall goal is to improve farmer incomes and markets.

Washington (MSP) with Collins(AC) discussing the agronomic & economic aspects of ripping as opposed to ploughing 

 

Being a change agent, he opted to try out the new technique by hiring a ripper from the neighbouring county (Busia) at a cost of KShs 1000/- per day irrespective of work done. With this experience, it became apparent to him that ripping is significantly cheaper than disc ploughing. With a ripper, he managed to rip up to 15 acres of land in a day which is almost double of what he could manage with a disc plough.

In mid-December 2021, he started to assemble materials for ripper fabrication. Within one month, he managed to fabricate a 3-tine ripper at a cost of Kshs.195,000/-. By doing so, Washington managed to cut the cost by 60% since the average market price of a 3-tine ripper ranges between KShs. 400,000/- to KShs. 500,000/-. This cost is also significantly cheaper than the cost of acquiring a second-hand disc plough not to mention a brand-new disc plough.

“Collins you created the demand for ripping in this county, therefore, I have to fill the gap by serving potential CA adopter farmers” Mr. Mukabana uttered. He attests that his net income rose by 40% since he uses only 4 litres of fuel per acre when ripping as opposed to close to 10 litres of diesel while discing; maintenance cost & downtime significantly reduced; takes only 30 minutes to rip an acre as opposed to 60 minutes required to disc plough an acre.  

Washington is doing his bit to combat global warming and improve the productivity of the farms in his neighbourhood. He, therefore, urges other MSPs to also do their bit. He further urges farmers to embrace early land preparation so that they can optimally utilize the available sustainable agricultural mechanization potential to improve food security and incomes. He also welcomes other clients willing to switch to ripping to reach out to him for the fabrication of the implement. 

For further information contact Collins Ongu (Kakamega Agribusiness Coordinator)- 0755626000

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