It’s planting season, and many farmers from both Northern and Southern regions of the Rift Valley are gearing up their farms for cultivation. This marks a crucial step in boosting food production for the nation and income for farmers.

However, they face numerous challenges such as hiring planting machinery, tillers, and the high cost of diesel and petrol.

On the other hand, technologies taking center stage this planting season include soil surveys, unmanned drone flights, and Geographic Information System (GIS) data.

In Bronjo village, Uasin Gishu County, Akilimali meets Timothy Kenyo, a retired military officer. He believes that if the diesel prices drop in the future, he and many other farmers will have a better time running profitable farming operations.

Services It’s worth noting that this season, seed, fertilizer, and land preparation machinery vendors are witnessing a high number of farmers visiting them seeking services, advice, or planting inputs.

He advises the government to develop strategies to ensure small-scale farmers can access warehouses or machine factories for their farm preparation needs in rural areas. This would help reduce the frequent trips they make during planting seasons in search of essential farming inputs.

He notes that the weather seems favorable, indicating that farmers expect good harvests by the end of this season.

Previously, he used to rely on hiring enough laborers at every stage of farm preparation, but things changed when he learned how to use a planter.

Just three workers now! He says these days, when he uses a planter, he only needs three workers.

Technology has helped him reduce the time he spends during farm preparation, thus avoiding the challenges of unpredictable weather conditions, where farmers using traditional methods often have to halt their activities.

He explains that a planter machine is specifically used for planting seeds and also helps in creating furrows for fertilizer application.

Often pulled by tractors

He explains that the use of this equipment is straightforward. It’s divided into two parts, with one part holding seeds and the other fertilizer.

“At the top near where the farmer holds, there is an open space with channels like pipes, divided into two parts. Here, seeds and fertilizer are filled, then they come out at the bottom when the tractor driver pushes the planter into the ground,” he says, adding that the planter machine has the ability to bury seeds in the ground.

According to him, this equipment is often used during the rainy season when many farmers have already started land preparation activities.

This advancement in planting technology has significantly transformed farming operations, making them more efficient and less labor-intensive for farmers.