International Field Day On Affordable Mechanised Farming

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A four wheel drive Massey Ferguson tractor linked with a chisel plough and a Baldan subsoiler was used to demonstrate minimum tillage during the FMD field day at Njoro which was attended by over 400 farmers.

A farmer’s field day, organized by Panafrican Group – FMD, was held at Technology Farm Nakuru with strong international support, to enlighten farmers on affordable mechanized good farming practices. The event attracted a crowd of over 400 farmers.

They came to observe smart farming methods for growing crops and viewed 24 Massey Ferguson tractors ranging from 35 to 132 horsepower and a vast range of equipment for small, medium and large-scale use. All visitors were interested in mechanized solutions for improving productivity and profits.

After welcoming the farmers Fergus Robley, the General Manager of FMD introduced the Company’s key staff who were backed by product specialists from Brazil, Germany, Italy, South Africa and the UK.

Brazilian, Italian and German implements were strongly represented with a selection of equipment for harvesting hay and forage, and potato farming equipment along with more conventional implements such as ploughs, harrows, planters, sprayers and subsoilers.

In addition to the tractors, FMD introduced for the first time a small tracked Massey Ferguson combine harvester for rice and cereals, which will help maximize yields whilst reducing harvest losses.  Throughout the day there were presentations and practical demonstrations. The potential cost savings and yield production increase for Kenyan farmers were graphically explained by FMD staff.

Jean Pierre Smit, the Business Development Manager of Grimme, explains the use of a potato bedformer to some of the over 400 farmers who attended the FMD field day at Njoro.

Minimum tillage, also known as conservation agriculture, has been practiced in Brazil for many years, where land preparation and rainfall challenges are similar to those in Kenya. This subject was discussed and demonstrated to farmers to highlight the advantages such as preservation of soil and moisture whilst saving on operational costs for profitable farming.

Years of conventional land preparation can result in mechanical pans, poor soil structure with loss of moisture preservation which all equates to yield limiting factors. In contrast, a conservation approach preserves our soils for future generations to help towards sustainable food production whilst correcting no no’s like, livestock and mechanical hard pans in the soil, thus helping raise the yields. Other advantages of changing the way we farm reduce the number of operations/ passes involved in preparing land for planting, which gives significant reduction in the cost of food production.

The farmers appreciated being exposed to machinery that compliments good farming practices and in addition to this, FMD announced favorable finance package from Equity Bank, to help farmers access the necessary finances for their mechanized farming needs.