Mechanical Weeder Service: Increasing Farmers’ productivity and revenue.
WHO I AM
My name is Hassan Halimot Omotoke, 25 years of age, a graduate of Electrical and Electronic Engineering; I am the Mechanization Unit Head of GreenWealth Agripreneurs, Nigeria.
GreenWealth Agripreneurs (GWA), incubates of IYA was set up to harness the potentials in agribusiness and eventually create jobs for themselves and other youths. The GreenWealth Agripreneurs consists of a team of young talented graduates that have embraced agribusiness as a mean of wealth creation. The uniqueness of our team lies in the heterogeneity of disciplines that cuts across Social Sciences, Arts, Natural Sciences, Agricultural Sciences and Engineering and has managed good gender equality of both male and female.
WHY THIS PROJECT
Weeds are undesirable plants that reduce crop yield and productivity by competing with the crop for water, nutrients and light. It blocks drainage system on the field and increases cost of cultivation. Weeding takes 50-80% of the total budget of farmers; women contribute more than 90% of the hand weeding labour with the involvement of about 69% of farm children between the ages of 5-14 being forced to leave school and engage in weeding.
To reduce these negative effects of weed, weeding is necessary but manual weeding (using cutlass and hoe) is the usual and common method for weed control, this is labour intensive. However, the emergence of herbicide resistant weeds, environmental impact and increasing demand for chemical free foods has led to investigations of alternative methods of weed control. This led to the mechanical weeding machine.
This service addresses the weed menace by increasing productivity and minimizing drudgery of the hand weeding by women and children thereby saving women from spinal deformities arising from long periods of stooping using hoe and hand to weed, helps farm families by offering efficient weeding options, reduce spending on hiring labour for weeding. Aside from the weeding, the weeder can also till the soil, make vegetable beds and ridges. This project would generate revenue for us through service delivery of mechanical weeder; create lucrative job opportunities through access of youth especially women to the weeder because of its ease of operation, and increase the profit and productivity of the smallholder farmers.
STEPS TO ACHIEVING OUR GOALS
The weeding services will be rendered to smallholder farmers. The services will be based on farmers’ request.
Some unemployed youths would be employed and their capacity on how to use the mechanical weeders would be built. We would first acquire more mechanical weeders, Modify the weeder to suit our purpose, carry out aggressive marketing for this project, render Service to farmer and lastly carry out Monitoring and Evaluation based on the functional M&E structure we already have on ground.
WHAT WE HAVE DONE SO FAR….
- We have modified the machines to Nigerian soil for different purposes such as weeding, tilling and ridging through the expertise of agricultural engineers
- We have done several preliminary field trials to ascertain the performance of the mechanical weeder on our local soil,
- Trainings on the machine’s operation and maintenance, weed identification, characteristics, best agronomy practices that address weed density for easy passage during weeding operation, best techniques for tackling the different weeds on various farm fields.
- We have conducted successful research works on its reactions to:
- Gender sensitivity while operating the machine
- Types of weed basically grass, sedges and broad leaf
- Soil type
- The machines benefit analysis over manual method (hoe and cutlass) i.e. Time management/efficiency, fuel consumption rate, increase crop yield and productivity
- Efficiency on different crops such as maize, soybean, cassava and banana
HOW WE WILL MEASURE SUCCESS
The success of this project will firstly be measured by the percentage of the total cost spend on weeding using our mechanical weeder in comparison to manual labour. It would also be measure by the increase in the profit/revenue of farmers. Finally it will be measured by the number of farmers that use this service on their farm and the number of workers employed by this project.
HOW WE PLAN TO USE THE US$5000 GRANT
LINE ITEMS – @ Unit Cost – Total
Purchase of Weeder and accessories (2 weeks)
Big Mantis Weeder (2units) @ $600 – $1,200
Small Mantis Weeder (2units) @ $300 – $600
Brush Cutter Weeder (2units) @ $60 – $120
Service kits @ $200 – $200
Protective goggles @ $40 – $240
Ear protectors @ $50 – $300
Modification of the Weeders (2 weeks) @ $200 – $1,200
Purchase of GPS @ $400 – $400
Logistics @ $740 – $740
Blogpost, video and picture submitted by Hassan Halimot Omotoke (Nigeria) – greenwealthagripreneurs(at)gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
This post is published as proposal #198 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.
The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.
As a reader, you can support this speaker’s entry:
- Leave a comment (question, suggestion,..) on this project in the comment field at the bottom of this page
- Support the post by clicking the “Like” button below (only possible for those with a WordPress.com account)
- Spread this post via your social media channels, using the hashtag: #GCARD3
Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!
As a donor, support young agripreneurs and sponsor this unique project. Check out the side column for our current sponsors.
“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.