Farmcenta Rice farming started nine (9) months ago in Kwakuti, Niger State, Nigeria, and now harvesting has begun. Paddy rice harvesting activities include reaping, stacking, handling, threshing, cleaning, and hauling before bagging. Harvesting can be done manually using traditional tools (sickle and knives) or mechanically using combine harvester. The first stage of rice harvesting is the collection of the mature rice crop from the field, this process is called Reaping.
This is the first rice harvesting stage, the rice crop is cut by using simple hand/traditional tools like a sickle and simple hand-held knives, this is done manually by our rural farmers working on the farm.
The next stage in rice processing is called Threshing, this is the process of separating the grain from the straw. It can be simply done by beating, using threshing racks, simple treadle threshers and animals for trampling are used to separate the chaffs from the edible grain, threshing is generally done in the field, or near the field.
After the grains are separated from the chaff, cleaning activities take place. Cleaning the rice grains involves separating the grains from non-grain elements. Cleaning grains after harvest is important as it removes unwanted materials from the grain. Clean grains have higher value than grains that are mixed with straw, chaff, soil, stones, and other non-grain materials. Grain cleaning will improve the drying, the storability of grain, and improve milling output and quality; while, it will also reduce damage by disease, and improve yields of the seeds.
Lighter materials such as unfilled grains, chaff, weed seeds, and straw are removed through winnowing. To improve efficiency when there is not sufficient wind, a blower or an air fan can be used. However, winnowing recovers only the heavier grains. Other heavy particles like heavier seeds, stones, and dirt might still be included in the rice.
It is the removal of stones or small metal objects that have attached themselves to the rice grain when harvesting or cleaning. This is done using the de-stoner, rice grains are poured into the machine and clean rice grains will come out from the outside tray.
This is the last stage of rice processing after all necessary practices have been conducted, the clean rice grains will be weighed and bagged according to off-takers weight preferences.
In the coming year 2020, Farmcenta plans to set up her own Mechanized Rice Processing facility here in Nigeria, where all activities such as threshing, de-stoning, drying, and cleaning will be carried out easier, better and faster.