BACKGROUND OF THE INNOVATION:
Sisal is a perennial crop of the Agaves genus whose botanical name is Agaves sisalana. Sisal was introduced to Kenya in 1903. Current global demand for Sisal fiber is estimated at 400,000 tones while production is approximately 250,000 tones of which Kenya produces about 25,000tonnes.
Sisal crop contain an inner fibre surrounded by an outer greenish thick fleshy cover. Sisal has a number of commercial use due to the properties of its fibre which include strength and resilience. The fibre which can be extracted from the outer fleshy cover of the sisal leaf has a variety of uses and may be a constituent in the production of papers, carpets, sisal bags, kiondos, mats and ropes. Sisal fibre also has the capacity to replace cotton as a component for textile. With the likelihood of strict legislative control over the use of polythene materials, sisal is likely to become increasingly attractive to farmers as a valuable cash crop mainly in semi-arid areas.
The sisal plant has a fibre product which is generally the more valuable commodity, mostly used in the production of e.g Sisal sacks,
Ropes for ships, Machines and Animals
Sisal twine/ strings for building
Fishing ropes and
High specialty paper.
Other Products Like the Sisal husk are used as:
Used as fertilizer and to produce biogas.
Used as poles for building houses, stores, storey buildings.
Used for fencing
Used as fire woods and many more.
The principal difficulty in processing sisal has been found to lie in separating the fibre from the fleshy part. This process is referred to herein as decortication.
A number of proposals have been suggested for separating the fibre from the fleshy cover. The principal category of decortication is Mechanical Separation, of the mechanical operations; traditionally, scraping has been the most widely used methods. Scraping involves manual Mechanical striping operation using a bladed/ metal bars normally fixed on the tree stock to help strip the outer cover which is the fleshy greenish part away from the fibre. As this method of decortication is generally manual operation, it is always very labor intensive and time consuming and hence inefficient. Scraping has therefore not been found suitable for small scale farmers commercial processing of sisal fibre. Other mechanical decorticating methods include the use of large motorized machines that are available and confined to major sisal production zones in Kenya e.g Kilimambogo sisal estates, Machakos, Taita Taveta and Baringo. These can not be used as alternative methods to promote sisal growing among small scale farmers who are the major economic boosters of Kenya. Sifa Machinery have succeeded in developing a small portable Sisal decorticating Machine that is aimed at realizing sisal development in semi arid areas for economic development Kenya.
The present invention provides an effective alternative to the old methods proposals for the processing of a sisal crop to fibre, particularly to the small scale farmers in semi arid areas. Further development of the prototype will include: incorporation of the solar power system in replacement of the fuel operated Mechanisms. Further development of machine efficiency,. Safety, aesthetic and ergonomics values. These are aimed at increasing the production capacity, Safety of the Machine, durability and quality of the final product.
-To design sisal decorticating machine that can separate 80% of the sisal husk from the fiber.
-To design sisal decorticating machine that can processes 500kg of sisal fibre per Day.
-To design sisal Decorticating machine that is simple, easily maintained and comfortable to work on.
– To design sisal decorticating machine that is portable.
-To promote house hold food security in semi arid areas.
-To avail a technology that will create job opportunities to the communities.
-To encourage the introduction of sisal plantation in semi arid areas and those that does well in the growing of sisal plant.
-To establish a successful business in the sisal fiber industries to utilize the market opportunity that is available in and outside the country.
-To facilitate the introduction of cartage industries in the rural set up that will encourage the utilization of locally available resources in attaining vision 2030.
SPECIFICATIONS OF THE CURRENT INNOVATION:
Production capacity: 160kg in 8hrs
Fuel used per eight hours: 5-6 litters of fuel petrol.
Net weight: 40kg.
Production capacity: 160-300kg in 8hrs
Fuel used per eight hours: 4-5 litters of fuel (Diesel).
Net weight: 100kg.
RELEVANCE OF THE INNOVATION PROJECT TO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT:
This innovation contributes towards the realization of the Millennium Development goal number one which aims at eliminating poverty and hunger through it’s contribution to employment creation to the youth and income generation.
In the Kenyan context the innovation contributes to the strengthening of the economic pillar of the Vision 2030 through the use of Science and Technology in developing Machines for production of the Sisal fibre that is sold for income generation. It is envisaged that the process of production of these Machines will create employment for a number of people, particularly the youths. The selling of the Machine produced, and the introduction of new farms for sisal plantation would also engage a number of persons and hence help create more job opportunities for the unemployed individuals.
INNOVATION METHODOLOGY/ DESGN:
The machine can be made as small or wide as is practical to be used by the small sisal holders, to deal with fresh green stems, harvested at the optimum time for high quality textile fiber.
It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that numerous variation and or modifications may be made to the invention as shown in the photos.