Smallholder maize farmers in Kenya can now shell up to 4kg of maize at ago without incurring either electricity or fuel costs, thanks to a manual shelling machine that cost less than Sh10,000
The machine saves farmers the burden of physically removing maize from combs, a tedious, time wasting and costly exercise that is practiced by at least 85 per cent of smallholder farmers in the country according to a research dubbed ‘maize production, challenges and experience of smallholder farmers in East Africa by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
The manual machine introduced to the Kenyan market by Muharata Food Company allows a farmer to insert 30 pieces of maize in the equipment, which, when rotated by hand, shells the pieces one after another, separating grains from the comb. The farmer then slides the shelled maize into a container before repeating the entire exercise for the rest of his maize.
According to Judy Wamboi, a Sales Representative at Muharata Food Company, the manual maize shell is fitted with two wheels hence easy to move it to the working joint. It costs KSh8500.
The shelling kit is easy to install, remove and re-attach in case of repair or when cleaning,’’ explained Wamboi. She added that the machines are fuel efficient considering that only three litres of diesel is needed to shell 20-30 bags 90kg bag of maize.
The company has three types of large scale maize shelling machines which includes electric, diesel powered and tractor driven. She explained that while they are in sizes, the most common ones are diesel driven with the capacity to shell 90kg of maize in two minutes. The machine is fitted with a sizable gunny bag where the shelled maize is collected while the combs are dropped on the ground. They range between Sh50,000-65,000.
Interested farmers can reach Muharata on + 254 020 201 3271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.