Ergonomic Assessment of Power Tiller Operators during the Testing of System of Rice Intensification Practices at Bakolori Irrigation Scheme, Zamfara State, Nigeria
Nigeria is intensively working hard to achieving food security for its ever growing population. One of the strategies adopted was introduction of modern crop intensification practices and mechanization. In line with this, testing and evaluation of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) was conducted at Bakolori Irrigation Scheme (BIS), Zamfara State - Nigeria. Power Tiller was among the appropriate tools and machinery that were investigated. However, there is the need to match operator’s efforts adopted. Both male and female operators were selected according the ergonomic practices from two farmer’s groups selected for the study. These operators were calibrated using hand ergometer and stethoscope while calibration curves were developed. Weather of the days of the exercise were also documented. Similarly, the anthropometric data of operators were examined in order to compute the quetlets index. Ergonomic assessments of the operators was conducted for energy cost assessment with mouldboard plough, disc plough and puddler. The overall results indicated that: quetlets index of the male operators ranges 17.24 – 22.9, while that of the female was 17.86 – 21.00. The energy cost of the male operators for mouldboard plough ranges; 14 – 25kJ/min, disc plough; 13.2 – 23.1kJ/min and puddler; 10.3 – 15.8kJ/min. The female operators operated mouldboard plough, the energy cost ranges; 10.4 – 14kJ/min. It was observed that the energy cost of male mouldboard plough operator is almost twice that of the female in the same environment, soil condition and power tiller type.