Performance Evaluation of a Ginger Harvesting Machine with Four Different Tractor Forward Speeds

  • C. V. Agu
Keywords: Ginger, mechanization, harvesting, performance evaluation, tractor speeds


Ginger is a potential agricultural commodity to be developed in Nigeria. Harvesting of ginger rhizomes in Nigeria is done manually by using hoes, fork, spade and other farm implements. The farmers are constrained with scarce labour for harvesting leading to increased labour cost and harvesting time. Experimental field trials were conducted at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, primary school field on a bed of sandy clay loam soil, to evaluate the performance of the machine at four different tractor forward speeds; 4km/hr, 8km/hr, 12km/h and 16km/h. The field parameters recorded are the operation speeds on the number of ginger rhizomes harvested, weight of ginger harvested, number of ginger un-harvested, number of ginger rhizomes with cut, weight of ginger with cut, effective/theoretical field capacity and efficiency. The machine was tested at four tractor forward speeds to investigate the effect of tractor forward speed on ginger harvesting. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) was used to test for significant differences at 4 tractor speeds. From the results, the tractor forward speed of 4km/h has the highest harvested rhizomes of 85.7%; while speed of 12km/h has the highest number of ginger un-harvested (41%) and number of ginger with cut (38.7%). The speed of 16km/h gave the lowest weight of harvested ginger rhizomes (3.4kg) and highest weight of cut (1.23kg). The ginger harvesting machine performed satisfactorily with effective field capacity, theoretical field capacity and field efficiency of 0.0261ha/h, 0.000505ha/h and 52% respectively.


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print ISSN: 0300-368X