RiceAfrika launches harvester hiring service
RiceAfrika, which started in the last quarter of 2020 as a rice-only platform facilitating interaction between stakeholders in the value chain, has launched a Harvester Hiring Service (HHS).
Founder of RiceAfrika, Ibrahim Maigari Ahmadu, said the HHS is now operational all over Nigeria with a plans to roll out in Tanzania, Senegal and Madagascar, adding that “Our objective was crystal clear; Using Technology to Improve Rice Production in Africa.
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“In the past year, we discovered a major pain point shared by over 90% of rural rice farmers in Nigeria. Manual harvesting.
“Manual harvesting is a wasteful, time-consuming, expensive, and tedious activity.
“Harvesting one acre of land will require about 30 people for over 15hours. (Our harvesters do this in less than an hour).
“We got into action and found a reputable manufacturer in China, and ordered a few modern, eco-friendly easy-to-use harvester machines, customized to our local weather and terrain.
“We set a target of commencing operations 2021 wet harvesting season (Oct-Nov).
“Knowing that mechanization means killing manual harvesting labor jobs, we invested in training youth of many rice communities to become harvester operators, mechanics, and booking agents.
“By the Grace of God, we delivered on our target. RiceAfrika HHS is now fully operational all over Nigeria. (Tanzania, Senegal and Madagascar expansion in view)
“Rural rice farmers are now hiring our harvesters. Youth of rice communities (mostly manual laborers on rice farms) are now employed as operators, mechanics, and booking agents.
“We also import harvesters for others. We sell harvester spare parts, and offer repair services.
“We provide training on harvester operations and maintenance, as well as, assign trained and certified operators for harvester owners (employing the many we are training).
“And importantly, farmers that do not have enough money to pay for our services, pay with paddy.
“Interestingly, our harvesters are fitted with IoT devices enabling us to track location, fuel consumption, speed, and control the machine remotely.”