Solution: The Manual Precision Seed Planter and Fertilizer is a hand/foot-powered planter designed for use by women practicing Conservation Agriculture. Precise quantities of seed and fertilizer are dropped by hand into two funnels, which deposit the seeds into two separate holes in the soil.
Goals and Objectives: The planter is able to plant maize seeds and precise quantities of fertilizer through the surface mulch in all soil types and conditions.
Implementation: The solutions are developed by Triple W Engineering Ltd to improve the poor performance of other Conservation Agriculture planting tools that averaged $80 USD in cost.
This tool will plant through the surface mulch in dry and moist soils. In use, the tool is rocked backward and forward as foot and hand pressure is applied. Prior to dropping a seed, the tool is pushed forward and this creates and maintains the tapered slot in the ground.
One person operates the tool and drops a controlled amount of fertilizer using a small plastic container whose capacity has previously been calibrated for the field and crop requirements.
Details of the Planting Spears: The slots created by two spears maintain a space between seed and fertilizer and prevent direct contact. The spears are made from high carbon steel and resist abrasive wear in sandy soils. The ends of the tubes are flared to ensure the seed and fertilizer are directed into the ground.
The space between the spears increases gradually to reduce friction in the center and prevent blockage by soils when wet. The ends of the delivery tubes are curved to ensure the seeds/fertilizer fall into the holes.
The system delivers both seed and fertilizer to a suitable depth in the moist layer. Using hand dropping ensures that precise amounts of both seed and fertilizer are placed in the optimum positions for most efficient utilization.
Achievements: The resulting precision of seed and fertilizer placement requires about half the normal recommended quantities of seed and fertilizer to be used, allowing for considerable economic savings for smallholder farmers.
Proposed Budget: The Manual Precision Seed planter can be manufactured locally by metal workers for roughly $15 USD.
Mr.Thomas Brian Muckle
Jua Kali Intermediate Technology