Rice planting in Mwea goes mechanization

KiliMOL have completed their demonstration in Mwea succesfully. KiliMOL, a subsidiary of MOL in Kenya conducted a field demonstration in Mwea of used Japanese agricultural machinery such as tractor and rice transplanter in collaboration with Karasawa Agricultural Machinery and CaDPERP-Capacity Development for Enhancement of Rice Production in Irrigation Schemes in Kenya

An automated rice seedling transplanting machine beng loaded with the seedlings ready for display at the MIAD, Kandongu , Mwea Irrigation scheme this afternoon

Rice farmers at the Mwea Irrigation Scheme, who have had to step into soggy muddy fields to plant the grain crop, have everything to smile about following the introduction of mechanized transplanting machines.

The machines from Japan and sold in the country as KiliMol (cultivate Africa’s future, come into two models , four wheel driven and two wheel hand operated, according to the Project Supervisor Harun Kimathi.

During a demonstration of the modern farming equipment at the MIAD, Kandongu, within the scheme this morning Kimathi said the machines were economical, efficient and time saving.

“This machine takes only 45 minutes to the most to transplant an acre of the rice fields whereas up to 16 people are required to plant the same area in about six or more hours at a cost of Sh 500 per person ,”he said.

The modern rice seedling transplanting machine being displayed on a rice field at the MIAD, Kandongu area within the Mwea Irrigation scheme by KiliMol company this afternoon.

Added Kimathi” these machines are however not being introduced to deny locals the casual employment that the planting seasons brings about since there is still the manual preparation of the seeds in trays where their labour is required ,”

The official however decried the overuse of heavy ploughing tractors before which had dug so deep making the modern transplanting machines to get stuck in some sections of the rice fields .

“Where the land is even transplanting can even take only 30 minutes using this mechanized machine and you can imagine the savings the farmer accrues as a result while fuel consumption is at the lowest, after sales field services as well availability of spare parts,”Kimathi said.

The modern rice seedling transplanting machine being displayed on a rice field at the MIAD, Kandongu area within the Mwea Irrigation scheme by KiliMol company this afternoon.

And the Japan based company Chief Executive Officer Mikio Oyama said some of the spare parts the machines had been fitted with could easily be manufactured in the country thereby creating more jobs for the Youths.

“We are looking at this venture in its totality and there should not be any reason why we can’t open a spare part manufacturing plant right here in Kenya and which will be a source of employment to the local Youths even as the farmers benefits from such cheap spares ,”Oyama told the media at the field day.

Oyama added that even mechanized weeding machines which are easy to handle and operate have been invented and introduced into the scheme to complete the mechanization process of the entire rice value chain.

Harun Kimathi the Nairobi office Supervisor briefing the Media on the efficiency of the equipment after the Field day held at the MIAD , Kandongu, within the Mwea Irrigation scheme this afternoon.

Kimathi said farmers in the area were the first to receive the mechanized rice transplanting machines in the entire African continent since the area was the largest producer of the grain crop.

So far the company has successfully introduced cheap and efficient tractors at the scheme while portable but modern rice mills are also available at farmers friendly prices, according to Kimathi.

A Mwea rice farmer Martin Mwaura speaking to the media after atter attending the Field day organised by KiliMol on mechanized rice seed transplanting at the MIAD Kandongu section this afternoon where he hailed the company for its innovative rice farming method which will improve efficiency at the scheme .

The company has Yuya Inoue and Ryo Sakamoto from the Tokyo office, Yataka Ikeda (Dubai Office) Kimathi at the Nairobi office with Oyama also at the Tokyo office .

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