One of the most important activities during the cultivation season is spreading manure, which is a problem nowadays in the sub-Saharan countries like Tanzania. Most manure is spread by women with shovels, a process that is inefficient, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. This often discourages farmers from applying manure, despite its proven ability to increase crop productivity by up to 100%. From the national sample census of small holder agriculture of 2008 we know that about 40% of them kept livestock but only an 11% use any organic fertilizer. As a result, less than 6% of the total area planted is under organic fertilizer application.
As the smallholder farmers are forced, for economic reasons, to cultivate all the arable land they own, the soil has no time to be fallowed, preventing it to recover the minerals and nitrogen absorbed by the crops every season. The national sample census of small holder agriculture of 2008 concluded that the crop productivity of that year diminished compared with the one of 2002 and that 91% of the rural households had soil erosion problems. This is one of the main reasons why crops yield only 20-30% of their full potential.
The reason why this problem still exists is because the technologies to spread manure are too expensive for the smallholder farmers. The tractors, that could do this job much easier, are unaffordable for the small scale farmers. As there are no other technologies available in the market, the smallholder farmers are forced to choose between spreading manure using the inefficient traditional hand methods or just burn the manure.
The Manure Spreader (MS) is an intermediate technology created to increase soil fertility and crop productivity by evenly spreading manure in the fields. As this is the only technology of its kind, this innovation redefines the manure spreading process, to simply towing a cart in the field. It reduces labor intensity, saves time, and maximizes the use of manure resources.
In this context it is obvious the urgency to provide the small holder farmers with an affordable technology that help them to spread the manure in their fields. Compost made with manure has the ability to return the nitrogen and minerals needed by the soil, allowing the crops during the rainy season to get all the minerals they need, resulting in healthier and bigger crops.
The Manure Spreader is an intermediate and scalable technology made to increase soil fertility and crop productivity by evenly spreading manure in the fields. As this is the only technology of its kind, this innovation redefines the manure spreading process, to simply towing a cart in the field. It reduces labor intensity, minimizing accidents and diseases; gives extra time for other economic or studying activities; improves productivity and incomes; reduces the work of women in this labor and maximizes the use of manure resources
The product is a cart that can traverse the field, gradually dispensing its load of manure as it travels. It can be pulled by a donkey, oxen or even a motorbike and the dispensing rotor is driven from the land wheel of the cart. We offer a complete machine or a kit to convert an existing cart into a manure spreader, made both with locally-available raw materials, making easy for the buyer to fix in case of breakdown.