Development and performance evaluation of Maize-on-Cobs-Crib-Venturi utility for smallholder farmers

Main Article Content

Cedric Mutyaba

Abstract

The development and performance evaluation of a maize-on-cobs-crib-venturi utility as source of enhanced drying wind flow was undertaken with a view to help smallholder farmers’safely dry maize-on-cobs. The crib-venturi utility consists of a rectangular cob holding container / crib and a venturi structure of converging metal sheets with a widened inlet and constricted outlet openings. The crib-venturi utility was evaluated in terms of final moisture content, time taken to dry the maize-on-cobs, wind flow and drying efficeiency. Results showed that the moisture content of 18.3% (wb) was reduced to 14% (wb), drying time time which was supposed to be 42 days was reduced to 25 days due to enhanced wind flow which improved by about 35% from about 0.89±0.6 m/s at exit of the venturi structure, and crib-venturi utility improved drying efficiency from 17% to 23% on-research station at Agricultural Engineering and Appropriate Research Centre. The moisture content of 22.8% (wb) was reduced to 14. 2% (wb) and drying time time which was supposed to be 60 days (farmer practice) was reduced to 25 days due to enhanced wind flow which improved by about 53% from 3.6±1.11 m/s at exit of the venturi structure, and crib-venturi utility improved drying efficiency from 21% to 39% on-farm in Kapchorwa, Uganda. The evaluation of the crib-venturi utility shows that it can be used for smallholder drying of maize-on-cobs in an oversized traditional crib.
Key words: Crib-venturi utility, Maize-on-cob, prototype, performance evaluation, Uganda

Article Details

Section
Articles