Design of a rice transplanter for Zimbabwean farmers
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Rice is a crop of growing importance in Zimbabwe but with a production of only 700 metric tonnes. This is because in wetlands it is largely grown by broadcasting of seeds and seedlings; and manual transplanting of seedlings. In practicing the said method however, farmers are exposed to musculosketal disorders as well as back problems due to the repetitive bending as well as the awkward posture needed in performing the task. Though manual transplanting gives uniform crop stand it is quite expensive and requires lot of labour besides involving lot of drudgery. Singh et al., 1985 reported that transplanting takes about 250-300 man hours/ha which is roughly 25 per cent of the total labour requirement of the crop. The rice production in Zimbabwe has also been very low because the common rice types were affected by the local climatic conditions however in 2014 businessman and farmer struck a deal with renowned Chinese agricultural scientist for National Hybrid Rice Research and Development Centre in Changsha in Hunan Province to start a pilot hybrid rice production exercise that could easily transform Zimbabwe into a major rice growing hub in the SADC region using varieties suitable to local conditions. This paper aims to design an ergonomic rice transplanter suited for the Zimbabwean climate and terrain. The mechanical transplanting of rice has been considered the most promising option, as it saves labour, ensures timely transplanting and attains optimum plant density that contributes to high productivity. Mechanization of rice sector will lead to higher productivity with releasing of work force to other sectors.
Additional Citation InformationMushiri Tawanda, Gutsa Brighton and Mbohwa Charles (2013) Design of a rice transplanter for Zimbabwean farmers,Proceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management Rabat, Morocco, April 11-13, 2017
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