Development and evaluation of a prototype manual precision rice planter for smallholder farmers in north-eastern Nigeria
The design and construction of a manual precision rice planter was undertaken with the aim of achieving precise planting on the farm. The machine was designed, constructed and tested on the University farm in Yola-Nigeria, using locally available materials. The machine consists of roller-metering device that rotates and receives constant flow of seeds from a bottomless hopper, a furrow opener and covering device. There is a front land wheel from which the seed-metering device is directly driven through chain and sprockets. The frame is made of hollow pipe on which the entire assembly is mounted. The machine performance evaluation was carried out using paddy rice BG 302 variety. The actual field capacity of the machine was found to be 0.067ha/h with field efficiency of 77.9%, and application rate of 21.62 kg/ha. The planter has a mean planting depth of 3.2cm, hill distance of 15.12 cm and 6 seeds per hill. It was concluded that efficient and precision planting could be better achieved with this kind of machine than with rice seed broadcasters.