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Assembly & Fabrication of Walking Tiller & Tractor

 

1.  Product Description: As the name indicates walking tiller and tractor means a small plowing machine which is driven by a motor attached to the machine but which is also pushed by a human being.  The machine is a much smaller version of a tractor.  The machine is used for plowing small plots of land.

 

2.  Rationale: The Amhara Region is a region of millions of peasant farmers whose average land holding size is between 0.50-0.75 hectares.  Since times immemorial the Amhara peasants have been using oxen, horses and mules for traction power.  When grazing land was available in sufficient size, using the above domestic animals for farming was not difficult, even though their productivity was extremely low.  However, in today’s Amhara land, practically all grazing land has been converted to farm land.  Because of this and other reasons, there are no enough number of oxen for plowing.  More than 40 percent of the peasant farmers do not have oxen for plowing.

 

      To make farming less time consuming, less ardors, less physically demanding and to make plowing efficient, an alternative method of plowing (in the context of peasant farming,) should be adopted.  One alternative is to mechanize (to use big and self driven tractors and combines) the whole peasant farming system.  But given the present land holding system, large-scale mechanization is not feasible.  The best option would be to provide the peasant farmers (individually or in groups) with walking tillers and tractors.  These machines are simple to operate and much more productive than plowing using oxen.  They save the time and effort of the peasant farmer by plowing more land per unit of time.  The time saved could be utilized for other income generating activities or for undertaking soil and water conservation works or similar activities useful to the individual farmer or the community.

 

3.  Market Potential: Currently Amhara land has about 19 million people of whom 17.5 million in rural areas, and practically all the rural people are peasant farmers.  If we assume 5 people in a family, there are about 3.5 million families who depend on farming in the Amhara Region.  That means the potential market for walking tiller and tractor is the size of the Amhara farming families.  Given the average land holding in the Amhara Region, walking tractor will be sufficient to the plowing needs of at least 3 families and this implies that the highest potential demand for walking tillers will be 1.2 million.  But this will be unrealistic.  If we assume that only 10 percent of the potential demand will be actual, demand for the walking tiller will be 120,000.  But to be on the safe side let us assume that only five percent of the potential will be actual, demand will be 60,000.  This market size will justify the need of establishing a walking tiller and tractor assembly plant in the Region.  The market for the tiller could also cover other Regions.

 

IMPORT OF TRACTORS (NO)

 

Year

 

Import

 

1997

214

1998

240

1999

86

2000

303

2001

161

2002

174

2003

260

2004

415

2005

521

2006

608

 

Source: Customs Authority.

 

4. Source of Raw Material: The “raw materials” for this project are the various parts and components that go into the assembly of the walking tiller and tractor.  For the first 3-5 years most parts will come from part suppliers or parent companies which produce the tillers.  Gradually, some parts could be fabricated in our country.

 

5.  Production Process & Technology: Until the stage of fabricating some parts or components is reached, the technology of assembling parts to produce a machine is relatively simple.  It mainly requires rotating platform where the various assembling process takes place.  Of course, some major components of the machine such as engine will be imported as complete units.

 

6.  Estimated Investment: About Birr 3 million

 

7. Benefits to the Region’s Economy:  a) create employment, b) transfers technology, makes farming more efficient c) saves labor, d) probably increase productivity.

 

8.  Location: Combolcha or Bahir Dar

 

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