Technological trends in agriculture have improved over the years. These have not only evolved from tractors used in ploughing, planting fields but it also crossed over to post-harvest handling.
One of the old methods of processing maize flour with its husks is not something farmers and processors are practicing in Uganda today.
Consumers of maize flour prefer refined first class flour and the same applies to people engaged in rice process.
For this to be successful, processors are now privileged to use a motorised grain huller, which is used to clean the grain in order to make a white sparkling flour in the case of maize flour and grain for the case of rice.
Farmers and grain processors can purchase the cereal grain hullers from most farm machinery suppliers around Kampala and other major towns.
Ms Clara Nadunga, a technician at China Humper food machines based at the Uganda Manufacturers Association (Uma) Showgrounds, Lugogo explains how the machine can be used by farmers engaged in processing maize, as well as agro food processors.
The cereal grain huller is comprised of a motor frame, starter and an isolator. There is an inlet for pouring the maize and rice grain. Once the grain is hulled, there is an outlet, which enables release of a clean grain to a container attached.
The tool uses an induction power mortar which is used for powering the machine. There are surveyor belts which keep rolling to ensure the machine runs at the required speed to allow smooth hulling process. The machine is comprised of diesel engine, meaning it is powered using diesel oil.
It has the capability of shelling one tonne of grain per hour. Shelling saves a lot of labour in comparison to traditional systems.
The purchasing price for all the parts is Shs14 million. Small scale farmers or processors can purchase it as a group for use.
These can be farmer associations and payment on instalment, according to Nadunga, is allowed. One can pay in instalments before delivery can be effected.
Once the parts are purchased, the technical team at China Humper Food Machine will install it at no cost.
The motorised huller has its advantages in that there is no need of electric power to enable operations. This means processors in rural areas where there is no electricity are privileged to use it.
The weight of the machine is about 600-700kg while shelling efficiency is about 100 per cent and broken grains are maximum up to two per cent.
There is assurance of clean and quality grain processing, leading to quality flour for the case of maize flour and clean rice grain.
A flour bag of 100kgs can be hulled in under five minutes making it a useful farm tool.
It saves labour since it takes one person to operate it, thus cutting farm costs.