In Summary
  • Conventional farming methods that include use of hoes are slowly being revolutionised by tractors as farmers seek to work with precision, maximise productivity and enhance tilling procedures that promote soil nutrient retention.
  • In the long-term, commercial banks will have more appetite to lend funds towards acquisition of farm machinery.
  • Weather conditions have been changing in recent times, hence there is need to adopt a more efficient tillage, weeding and harvesting equipment.
  • These applications are available for tractors ranging from the 35hp to 90hp that are suitable for the medium-scale farmer.

Alex Makaa is the divisional manager, New Holland, for CMC motors. He spoke to Brian Okinda on the place of farm machinery

Are farmers taking up machines?

The country has made positive milestones in promoting mechanisation, but there are still many opportunities to facilitate it under the food security pillar in the Big Four Agenda.

Conventional farming methods that include use of hoes are slowly being revolutionised by tractors as farmers seek to work with precision, maximise productivity and enhance tilling procedures that promote soil nutrient retention.

An average tractor within the 35-55Hp range complete with tilling, planting, weeding, spraying, harvesting implements and light transport trailers is ideal for small farmers.

Modern farmers, including smallholders, are joining cooperatives to facilitate access to some of the agricultural machinery.

Do you think the move to remove caps on commercial banks’ lending rates will boost farm machinery acquisition?

Removal of caps will create a short-term “double-edged sword” effect subject to the technique in disseminating the information to the target market.

In the long-term, commercial banks will have more appetite to lend funds towards acquisition of farm machinery.

However, agricultural equipment dealers and commercial banks should educate farmers on cash-flow management vs revenues generated and methods of utilising the machinery efficiently.

Besides, the two need to guarantee farmers flexible payment schedules and remove some of the fees levied to enhance accessibility.

A majority of those who have embraced farm machinery largely focus on those required for ploughing and possibly harrowing. Which are the other sectors in which agriculture mechanisation comes handy?

Weather conditions have been changing in recent times, hence there is need to adopt a more efficient tillage, weeding and harvesting equipment.

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