By Ibrahim Ruhweza
Modern farming is becoming the order of the day in Uganda, and this calls for heavy machines to be used. A combine harvester is one of them. But for anyone to use it, they need to know how it operates.
There is a gigantic combine harvester on display at the Harvest Money Expo happening at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds in Kampala. It is a TAFE machine being exhibited by ENGSOL (Engineering Solutions), one of the many exhibitors at the expo.
Abdul Bruhan Kakaire, the operator and technician, explains how it works.
To begin with, of course before you think about going out to harvest your crops such as maize, rice or soya beans, you need to make sure the crops are ready to be harvested.
You also have to know which type of crops you are going to work on because the combine harvester has headers, which a farmer changes depending on the crop to be harvested.
For a combine harvester to do its work perfectly, it needs to have a right header.
Before you reach your farm, you have to make sure all the systems are working okay.
Once on the crop field, the motor is fired to life. The motor helps the header to suck the crop into the massive winnower, which crushes it to free the seeds.
On that journey, the seeds pass through a metal strainer. Strainers have different adjustable levels depending on the crop being harvested.
You set the strainer according to the seeds. If it is maize, you set big gaps to ease harvesting. The grasses will be channeled down, and the seeds will be conveyed straight to the container.
The harvester can hold five tonnes of seed.
After there, the seeds are cleaned and ready for use.
The amount of fuel the combined harvester uses depends on the acres of crop to be harvested.
In one day, the machine can harvest over 50 acres depending on the geographical area or land terrain.
The combine harvester can require maintenance after two weeks of work – depending on the scale of work.