Mechanisation of post-harvest techniques
Mechanising the harvesting of fonio (Activity 2.1)
The harvesting of fonio is currently a purely manual operation and reaping the harvest is very labour-intensive (20 to 30 man-days per hectare). To mechanise harvesting, primarily on soils which have been well worked and correctly cleared on the plains, the Aval Fonio project is proposing to test small motorised mowers in Guinea.
Adapting threshing and cleaning machinery to meet producers' needs (Activity 2.2)
The threshing machine developed in previous fonio projects is suitable for the plains but it appears necessary to adapt lighter threshers for hilly or mountainous terrain.
In terms of cleaning machinery, this involves the testing in Guinea of a winnower, rotating sieve and a winnowing channel. This is the machinery best able to meet the needs of producers seeking to improve the quality of fonio paddy. We are also investigating the extent to which the equipment suitable for fonio is transferable to finger millet in Burundi.