A lecturer, Head of the mechanization department in the College of Agriculture at University of Rwanda, has found interesting ways to reduce the drudgery often faced by farmers in their various farming and non-farming operations.
Dr. Deepak Das, together with his final year students, have designed innovative machines and equipment which can be used by farmers with a minimum investment on the farmer’s part.
The Non-electrical Refrigerator
The team of Rwandese students designed a cooling device which can work without electricity. It’s easy to take that hulking great white beast of a machine in our kitchens for granted, but for the farmers in Africa who in many cases face power outages, a working refrigerator is not an option. The device is cheap, portable and ideal for home use and storage of farm produce. Its inherent potential to keep farm produce fresh holds a lot of promise to reduce food loss.
The improved stove is another promising technology. During the interview with Dr. Das, he revealed there were local institutions which were that impressed with the technology, they placed an order already. This technology will particularly benefit the women as they will spend less time preparing meals, reduce the burden (and risk) of searching for much needed firewood and use less wood.
When transplanting seedlings to the field, a transplanter is normally used for this purpose. It will be possible, according to Dr. Das and his team, to reduce the time needed for row to row planting with their new transplanter.
In other to reduce the manual way of threshing, final-year students of UR College of Agriculture manufactured an affordable sorghum thresher which can be bought at an reasonable price. This thresher reduces the drudgery endured by women and features high efficiency. It can also work with any power source.
There is a beauty to be seen when lecturers and students in agriculture use their knowledge and skills in the service of farmers. Truly, “Made in Africa”.
Blogpost and pictures by Abe Oluwayomi Kayode, yommi.abe(at)gmail.com, #AASW7 social reporter.
This post represents the author’s views only.