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Tom commented on Improved maize threshing machine "Kungula"

Hi Chioma,

Thanks for the feedback. To answer your questions regarding our approach, the closest competitor of the Kungula removes 82% of the grain from the cob where Kungula removes 99.2%, doesn't winnow where Kungula winnows upto 96%, has a whole grain ratio of 92% where kungula has 97.4% and loses 20Kg of grain for every 1000Kg threshed while Kungula loses less than a tenth of a Kilogram of grain for every 1000Kgs threshed.

Kungula has passed all field tests and we presently have one machine at a large scale maize farm and 6 with small and medium scale farmers in Nakasongola district. We would like to use Amplify support to scale our reach and fund our R&D program to optimize and reduce the production cost of Kungula as we ultimately reach more small scale farmers.

Farmer input helped us arrive at a new hopper design. The hopper is where maize is fed into the Kungula. The first was above the engine but farmers informed us that with large amounts of maize going in stalled the engine. Our new hopper design allows for gradual entrance of maize into the threshing chamber so the engine does not stall. Another functional change was in the threshing drum whose plates initially propelled cobs outside the Kungula very fast. Need finding feedback led us to understand that farmers wanted the cobs to just fall out not to be propelled. Modifications have been made to meet this end user preference. Last but not least, the portable design is an adaptation to village transport conditions where motorcycles can easily move the Kungula from one farm to another.

Kungula costs about 1254 USD while a comparable ordinary thresher is priced at 1284 USD. While Kungula is cheaper, we have found farmers unable to afford it, so we are determined to continuously invest in R&D to reduce our cost of production. As the value proposition is clear, R&D will translate into lower prices and higher efficiency to surely appeal to new consumers.

The other novel insight that came out of all our need finding and community consultations has been our array of flexible group and individual financing options and network distribution method. In this way we can also reach consumers who individually can't afford the Kungula or available alternatives.

I hope this answers your questions. We are glad to answer any more.