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1. Product Description:  Sickles are used to cut grain stalk (cereals, Pluses, oil seeds, ---) at harvest time, grass and some time branches.  They are used both on farm and around the house.


2. Rationale: In the Amhara Region alone there are 3.7 million families whose major occupation is farming.  If we assume that at least two sickles are need by each farming family, the need for sickles in rural areas alone will be 7.4 million.  Supply of sickles to the Region comes from three sources- local production by blacksmiths, factory production from Addis Ababa and imports.  Production by blacksmiths constitutes a small portion of the total supply to the Region.  Production from the Addis Ababa factory has been declining over the years.  On the other hand imports of sickles are increasing.  But since it is technically possible to produce sickles, the domestic factory production of sickles should be revived and substitutes the import.  Most cereals production takes place in the Amhara Region and sickles are needed in cereal growing areas.


3. Market Potential:  Factory production of sickles in the country was 494,000 in 1987,. 229,000 in 1989 and 146,000 in 1990.  In a period of three years, production declined by about 80 percent. Since then production has not recovered.  While domestic production was declining, imports have been increasing.  This project idea is to produce sickles in the area of the country where it is needed most.


4. Source of Raw Material:  Sickles are made from that carbon steel.  This input will be imported.


5. Process & Technology:  the flat carbon steel is cut into pieces of desired sizes.  The piece is heated for the purpose of forging by forging hammer.  The excess material on the side is removed by hammering again which is called trimming.  After this, finishing process is performed and at last a wooden handle is fixed.  Machines required are hydraulic power hacksaw machine, open hearth black smithy, coal fired muttle furnace, oil quenching tank, spring hammer, double ended grinder, haraness testing  machine, and other accessories.


6. Estimated Investment:  For a plant which will produce about 70 tons of sickles (about 140,000 pieces) per year, estimated investment will be:

-         Building- 300 m2 at Br. 1500/m2 =  Br. 450,000

-         Machinery                                 = Br.       176,000

-         Working Capital                         = Br.       88,000



7. Benefits:  saving in foreign exchange and regional financial resources, increases productivity of farmers during harvest, self-sufficiency, development off hand tools and farm implements industry.


8. Location: Combolcha or Bahir Dar