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    Farmers bordering high speed streams or rivers can push up to 5000 litres of water a day without incurring any power costs using a Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Hydraulic Ram Pump.

    JKUAT renewable energy expert Richard Njihia said the machine, which is also called hydram pump, has been designed to reduce production costs for farmers who can access continuously running water.

    “Hydram is a time tested technology that uses the energy of a large amount of water falling from a small height to lifts a part of the liquid to great heights. In this way, water from a spring or stream can be pumped to the village for domestic use, irrigation or any other farm activity on the uphill,” he said.


    The power of the pump relies on the height of the falling water. For instance if the fall is one metre in depth, the pump can push water from the base to a height of eight metres.

    READ ALSO: Motorcycle that pumps water enters Kenyan market

    Njihia, who is also a lecturer at the university, said the pump can push out one out of every 10 litres of water received.

    It has alternating valves that allow for continuous inflow and outflow of water.

    READ ALSO:Motorized pump reduces spraying time four fold 

    Since it does not require oil or electricity, the pump is easy to run for farmers as it only requires minimum maintenance after installation.

    With reservoirs in the irrigation field or homes, the pump can push water for 24 hours for later use.

    The hydrams rage in size, with the smallest pushing 5000 litres per day while others manage  up to 20,000 litres over the same period.

    READ ALSOAffordable solar-powered water pumps could be the key to farming success in Kenya

    The costs range from Sh60,000 to Sh120,000.

    Njihia said the pump is a perfect alternative to diesel or electricity, of which if a farmer cannot affor them at a given time, farm activities would stagnate.


    The pump is designed and manufactured by JKUAT under the JICA-JKUAT Bright Project.

    JKUAT can be reached on 067-52181 or  067-52711 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    PHOTO: A JKUAT official attends to the hydram pump at the Kabiruini Agricultural Society of Kenya Show Ground on September 17, 2016. The pump does not require oil or electricity to push water. PHOT BY LABAN ROBERT.


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    Tree growing farmers can recover more than 25 per cent of wasted timber by fixing a gauge to the power saw machines to get the right size shape and texture of the products.

    Out of every 100 pieces of timber from a power saw, only 30 of them can be sold for furniture and other high quality wood products.

    The rest are rough, crocked and with depression that are hard to work on. For that reason, therefore, they are rejected or sold at throw-away prices.

    Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) officer David Munene said farmers have full control of the power saw when it has the gauge, therefore, able to split high quality timber that fetches more for profits.

    “Fixing a gauge on the power saw increases the recovery rate from 30 per cent to 56 per cent per tree. The produced timber is of high quality and can be sold to the high-end market,” he said.


    Fixing the gauge is done at the KEFRI workshop at Karura Forest, Nairobi, at Sh13,000.

    Munene said timber loses it value when it is warped, undersize and oversize, has depressions and rough surfaces.

    READ ALSO: Pricey timber imports spawn shortage

    When using the gauged power saw, beams are set on a raised bench like that of planing. The machine handler sets the gauge to the required size of the timber before driving it through the beams. Uniformly cut smooth surface timber pieces are churned out.

    However, the gauge has to be dismounted during felling of the tree or cutting it into the required sizes, Munene said.

    READ ALSO:Timber sellers contracting farmers to grow trees

    In a day of eight hours, one can split 780 feet if the beams are ready upfront.

    Farmers also get more pieces per tree due to regulated splitting size as well as reduced off-cuts due to the uniform movement.

    Munene said realising more timber per tree would reduce wastage, therefore, cut on the trees felled to meet the demand for furniture.

    The sawing can be don under the shade just like during planing. 

    PHOTO: David Munene splitting timber using a gauged power saw machine at Kabiru-ini Agricultural Society of Kenya Show Ground on September 17, 2016. The gauge gives uniform and high quality timber, therefore, saving farmers about 26 per cent loss. PHOTO BY LABAN ROBERT.

    He can be contacted on +254720928935

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    A Mombasa County farmer, who had no electricity by the time he entered into poultry agribusiness, is supplying chicks to others after buying a cheap and easy to maintain kerosene powered incubator of 100 eggs capacity.

    David Karisa has maintained the kerosene incubator even after getting power connection after finding it more reliable in cases of back-outs.

    The more than two years’ experience he has had in the industry has made him achieve high hatching percentages, matching electric and solar powered incubators.

    “A kerosene incubator does not require a lot of running and maintenance costs. For the 100 eggs that I place in the incubator, I get between 88 and 95 chicks. It is not much of a difference from electric or solar powered hatching. It cost me Sh15,000,” the farmer said.


    He has two incubators, which use 20 litres of kerosene for the 21 days.

    The incubator has an external affixed lantern whose top-most part is connected to a chimney that directs heat into the sealed wooden chamber.

    The chamber has a window that a farmer uses to set the eggs on the trays and monitoring other conditions necessary for hatching.

    READ ALSO: Fact Sheet: How to make poultry money using incubators

    The Kisauni-based farmer said although it does not rain always, when it does so, back-out are ‘severe’. Outages can run from hours to days because of the flooding, which hampers re-connections. 

    He supplies chicks of varied ages starting with day old to mature chickens ready for meat or laying.

    He has 120 Kari Improved, 60 Dorep, 50 Kuroilers and 65 mixtures, which he supplies according to orders from within the county.

    READ ALSO: Kenyan youth access quarter a million shillings for egg incubators

    He sells between 360 and 400 chicks and chickens per month.

    “An incubator alone cannot give more than 85 per cent results. The cock to hens ration must be proper to ensure that eggs are fertilised. My ratio is one cock to seven hens,” he said.

    Occasionally, he receives orders from farmers and because of the reliability of the incubator, Karisa meets such orders with ease.

    READ ALSO: Making money with egg incubators

    Karisa’s business is set up at Kisauni, Kiembeni Village.

    For chicks and chicken supplies, Karisa can be reached on He can be reached on +254725328616. 

    The incubator is available at the ATDC  Mtwapa- on+254722764503- or any other Kenya Agricultural  and Livestock Organisation.

    PHOTO: A man admires a kerosene incubator at the Mombasa  International Agricultural Society of Kenya Show on September 3, 2016. The incubator has helped Kisauni farmer deliver chicks without electricity. PHOTO BY LABAN ROBERT.


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