SINCE TIME immemorial, agricultural technologies aimed at relieving farmers from labour constraints in food production processes have not favoured smallholder or subsistence farmers, especially in the developing world.
The attention has always been on the medium and large scale farmers to the neglect of smallholder farmers who contribute immensely to the world's total food production.
Meanwhile, smallholder farmers manage approximately 500 million small farms and provide over 80 per cent of the food consumed in large parts of the developing world, according to the
It is a common fact that food security in
One common practice in
Shelling maize crop by hand is one of the labour intensive and time consuming processes. This arduous process is not uncommon to maize farmers in the remote parts of
However, it seems there is some kind of relief in sight. Maize farmers in the Northern region, especially the smallholder farmers, will soon reduce labour cost and time of shelling their produce after harvest.
This is because the implementing agency of Feed the Future USAID Agriculture Technology Transfer project,
It is a simple maize Sheller mounted on bicycle with a multiple mobile phone charging cell attached. As the user pedals to power the bicycle, two things are achieved; charging about four mobile phones at a time and shelling the maize. It requires only two people; one to pedal the bicycle and an assistant to drop the cobs of maize inside the Sheller.
With this maize Sheller bicycle, the farmer can fill a 90-kg sack of maize in 40 minutes and 10 to 15 bags per day. The bicycle retains full functionality for transport and carrying loads. The shelling kit is easy to install, remove and reattach. It works with most common models of bicycle in local villages.
IFDC recently demonstrated how the technology works to some farmer groups in and around Nyankpala, working with some agro-business companies in the Northern region.
Farmers who witnessed the demonstration at the premises of
The technology has not been commercialized in
The organisation had recently imported few of the shelling kits and mobile charging units, presented them to seed companies and farmer groups in the Northern region, to whip up farmers' interest before it ensures the availability of the technology on the Ghanaian market.
Seed Moisture tester is another simple hand tool being introduced under the Feed the
The Agriculture Technology Transfer (ATT) project has an ultimate goal of improving agricultural productivity and growth. This involves ensuring development, availability and adoption of agricultural technologies in
Over the next half decade, there are a number of activities planned to reach over 100,000 farmers, who are into maize, rice, and soya production in
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