Food Security in Laikipia County is set to improve significantly after the making of a state-of-the-art drying machine for cereals by a Laikipia innovator.
This has been realized following a partnership between David Burii of Mwireri Engineering, the County Government of Laikipia, and Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (DeKUT).
The new machine has a capacity to dry 6-8 tonnes per hour, an improvement from the older version that dries half a tonne in 3-4hours. Further, the latter uses maize combs and diesel to generate the heat for drying, which is not economical.
I am glad that we now have made a machine that is faster drying and uses diesel and electricity to function. Burii said, adding that it has taken them 13 weeks to come up with the advanced maize dryer.
The innovator is hopeful that the subsequent machines will take less time as they already have experience and know where the delay came from.
The County Government of Laikipia has been hand-holding the innovator and has helped in marketing the same, even outside the country.
We have no business importing machines. We should be able to make our own machines. The way to improve the productivity of Agriculture is to ensure that the farmer is able to use the machines that we make here.said Governor Ndiritu Muriithi.
Praising this noble course, DeKUT Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ndirangu Kioni said the partnership between the government and the institution has worked towards ensuring solving problems facing society.
To get to where we are, we have partnered with Laikipia County to use the University Knowledge to help the SMEs improve their manufacturing capabilities.DeKUT VC said.
The first three machines will be installed at the cereal storage facilities in Kinamba, Sipili, and Mutanga. This will fix the perennial maize storage problems, where farmers suffer hefty losses due to afro toxins accumulation in their maize when stored in normal warehouses, thus reducing post-harvest losses.
The announcement of making such a machine has attracted other customers, especially those who had experience with the older version.
Currently, I have five orders from Rwanda, DR Congo, Uganda, Trans Nzoia, and from one individual. the entrepreneur said.