kymsoft is a small group of young innovators and problem solvers whose focus is on providing a solution to the birds disturbing rice farmers across sub-Saharan Africa and the world at large in order to help farmers increase on their rice production rate.
Automated Birds Repellent System
Rice is one of the major crops that is grown in Africa and the world at large. It is grown both as a cash crop and a sustenance/food crop. Fifteen years ago rice was seen as a meal for the rich or a special food especially in sub-Saharan Africa, but with the continued introduction of species to farmers in these countries, it is becoming a major cash crop for the farmers and fast replacing most staple foods around the region .
Rice growing has increased in Uganda and Africa at large by leaps and bounds as homesteads dealing in rice growing have increased from 76000 to 244000 as of 2013 and steadily rising. Rice schemes in Uganda are a major contribution to both the social and economic sector in Uganda by providing employment to the natives and also contributing largely to the national economic development. However, these farmers and the rice schemes at large are affected by various issues major one being rice-eating birds. These rice eating birds cause a substantial reduction in yields and as such causing an equally substantial loss in income generated from the rice harvests. One flock of birds can destroy 1000 kgs of cereal a day in a given rice scheme and this is catastrophic economically. Birds are also known to cause 90% of yield losses if not controlled.
Furthermore, the birds have grown accustomed to the scarecrows put in place to combat them and this hasn’t helped much.
Small scale farmers have now resorted to hiring of cheap labour in form of school-going children to continuously chase away birds from the rice farms. Such a method is labour intensive and requires many children to carry out the desired task. This has increased dropouts of school by these children in order to keep carrying out this activity of scaring away birds. This affects the nation negatively and deprives it of the necessary advantages of having children receive education.
However much this can prove to be somewhat efficient for small scale farmers, for those growing rice on large scale, this mechanism is highly inefficient and sometimes costly and hence resorted to spraying the birds in order to get rid of them. This is in violation of the Uganda Wildlife Act 1996 Chapter 200, section 5 and 6 which makes it an illegal issue with such a method being practiced.
Therefore, there is need to come up with a better, efficient, safe and legal mechanism to scare away the birds and get rid of the shortcomings of the current mechanisms in place