The tractor-drawn single row ginger rhizome harvester was the designed, fabricated and its performance was evaluated in terms of effective field capacity, field efficiency, and percentage rhizome damage. It consists of two main units; the rectangular support component and the digging component. The rectangular support measures 900 mm by 700 mm provided the support of which the digger and the three-point linkage are attached. The digging component comprises a V-shaped digger blade with a length of 670 mm, a width of 50 mm, and a thickness of 5 mm. The harvester was operated at forward speeds of 0.63 m/s, 0.8 m/s, and 1.8 m/s, rake angles of 16o and 32o, and depth of cut of 8 cm, 10 cm, and 12 cm in a split-split plot design. The harvester's draught was measured using an electronic dynamometer; an average draught force and power were evaluated and recorded as 0.856 kN and 1.19 kW, respectively. Other machine parameters were field capacity, theoretical field capacity, and efficiency obtained ranges from 0.0225-0.0655 ha/h, 0.318-0.90 ha/h, and 68-95%, respectively. Hence, a split-split plot was used to analyse the interaction of speed, depth of cut, and rake angle. Analysis of Variance showed significant effects on harvesting ginger rhizomes, and no significant effects were demonstrated in other parameters at p ≤ 0.05. Response surface was used to obtain the optimum value of speed as 1.3 m/s and depth of cut of 8cm at rake angle either 16o or 32o. Finally, the ginger harvester offered minimal bruise to the ginger rhizomes of approximately 0.5%, thus easy to operate, reliable, and recommended for farmers' use.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
Table of Contents vi
List of Tables x
List of Figures xi
Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study 1
1.2 Statement of Problem 2
1.3 Objectives of the Study 4
1.3.1 General objective of the study 4
1.3.2 Specific objectives of the study 4
1.4 Justification of the Study 4
1.5 Scope of the Work 5
Chapter 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Historical Background of Ginger 6
2.2 Ginger Production in Nigeria 7
2.3 Agronomy of Ginger Production 8
2.4 Global Ginger Production 14
2.5 Ginger Processing 17
2.5.1 Preparing Ginger for the Market 17
2.5.2 Ginger processing mechanisms 21
2.5.3 Slicing / Splitting mechanisms 21
2.5.4 Composition of Ginger Rhizomes 22
2.6 Economic Importance of Ginger 23
2.7 Engineering Properties of Ginger 26
2.7.1 The physical properties of Ginger 26
2.7.2 The mechanical properties of Ginger and other Tuber Crops 29
2.8 Root and Tuber Crops Harvesting 31
2.9 Development in Ginger Harvesting Machinery 35
2.9.1 Manual harvesting of Ginger 35
2.9.2 Mechanical harvesting of Ginger 37
Chapter 3 MATERIALS AND METHODS
3.1 Sample Preparation 40
3.2 Design Considerations of Ginger Harvester 40
3.3 Description of Developed Machine (Harvester) 41
3.4 Soil Properties of Experimental Plot 46
3.5 Design of Component Parts 46
3.5.1 Design of Digger 46
3.5.2 Selection of Bolts 51
3.5.3 Selection of three-point Linkage 53
3.6 Experimental Procedure 53
3.6.1 Draught requirement 53
3.6.2 Drawbar power 54
3.6.3 Performance evaluation 54
3.7 Experimental Design 55
3.7.1 Statistical analysis 55
3.8 Bill of Engineering Measurements 57
Chapter 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
4.1 Soil Properties 58
4.2 Draught Force and Power of Ginger Harvester 58
4.2.1 Effect of draught force on the speed of the Harvester 59
4.3 Mass of Harvested Ginger 61
4.3.1 Effects of speeds, depth of Cuts and rake angles on the mass of harvested Ginger 63
4.4 Field Capacity of Ginger Harvester 65
4.4.1 Effects of speeds and rake angle on field capacity 66
4.4.2 Effects of depth of cuts and rake angles on field capacity 67
4.4.3 Effects of interaction of speeds and depth of cuts on field capacity 68
4.5 Field Efficiency of Ginger Harvester 69
4.5.1 Effects of the interactions of speeds and depth of cuts on field efficiency 70
4.5.2 Effects of interactions of depth of cuts and rake angle on field efficiency 71
4.5.3 Effects of interactions of speeds and rake angle on field efficiency 72
4.6 Percentage of Rhizome Bruises 73
Chapter 5 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Conclusion 74
5.2 Recommendations 75
LIST OF TABLES
2.1: Production of Ginger in Nigeria 16
2.2: Ginger production by the top ten Country in year 2018 17
2.3: Summary of physical properties of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) 26
2.4: Descriptive statistics for mass of 50 Rhizomes of two Ginger varieties 27
2.5: Descriptive statistics for volume of 50 Rhizomes of two Ginger varieties 27
2.6: Descriptive statistics for sphericity of 50 Rhizomes of two Ginger varieties 28
2.7: Descriptive statistics for Particle of 50 Rhizomes of two Ginger varieties 28
3.1: Properties of Soil obtained from the Eastern Farmland of MOUAU 46
3.2: Design dimensions of Screw Threads, Bolts and Nuts 52
3.3: Standard dimension of three-point Linkage 53
3.4: An outline of the analysis of variance for split-split plot design 56
3.5: Bill of engineering measurements 57
4.1: Draught of the Tractor without Load 59
4.2: Draught of the Tractor cum Harvester 59
4.3: Draught of the Harvester 60
4.4: Mass of undamaged Ginger (g) harvested at a travel distance of 14.6 m 62
4.5: Harvested time taken when the Tractor covers a distance of 14.6 m 63
4.6: Analysis of variance Table for mass of Ginger harvested 64
4.7: Field capacity of Ginger Harvester 66
4.8: Analysis of variance for field capacity 67
4.9: Field efficiency of Ginger Harvester 70
4.10: Analysis of variance for field efficiency 71
LIST OF FIGURES
2.1: Hilled young Ginger Plant 10
2.2: Ginger flowering Plant 11
2.3: Harvested Ginger Roots being washed 12
2.4: Matured Ginger Root 14
2.5: Ginger production in Nigeria 15
2.6: Ginger Production by the top ten Country in year 2018 16
2.7: Flowchart for Ginger processing 20
2.8: Isometric view of motorized Ginger Rhizome slicing Machine 22
2.9: General structure of Gingerols (n= 1, 4, 6, 8, 10) for specific Compounds 23
2.10: The underground Vegetable Harvester 32
2.11: Three dimension view of cassava uprooting device 33
2.12: The Sugarcane harvesting Machine 34
2.13: Combined Harvester 34
2.14: NCAM mechanized Cassava Harvester 35
2.15: Manual harvesting (Hand picking holding the Stems/Branches) of Ginger 37
2.16: Spade (A) and digging Fork (B) used for Ginger harvesting 37
2.17: Ginger Harvester with Tracks 38
2.18: Harvesting Machine for Ginger 39
2.19: Fully assembled Ginger harvesting Machine 40
3.1: Isometric drawing of a row Ginger Harvester 43
3.2: Orthographic projection of a row Ginger Harvester 44
3.3: Front view of a row Ginger Harvester 45
3.4: Side view of a row Ginger Harvester 46
3.5: Free-body diagram of the Digger Blade 50
3.6: Free-body, shear force and bending moment Diagrams 51
3.7: Dynamometer 55
3.8: Split-split plot design of some selected field parameters for harvesting Ginger Rhizome 56
4.1: Draught force of the Harvester at constant speed 61
4.2: Effects of speeds on the mass of harvested Ginger 65
4.3: Surface plot of field capacity verses speed and rake angle 67
4.4: Surface plot of field capacity verses depth of cuts and rake angles 68
4.5: Surface plot of field capacity verses speed and depth of cuts 69
4.6: Surface plot of field efficiency verses speeds and depth of cuts 71
4.7: Surface plot of field efficiency verses depth of cuts and rake angle 72
4.8: Surface plot of field efficiency verses speeds and rake angles 73
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Harvesting is a method of cutting and collection of mature crops from the field, and a harvester is a machine used for harvesting (Adarsh et al., 2013). Tadesse (2015) defined harvesting as the main technique of bringing together the field's target crop product. It is open to the climate's impulse and the growing environment and places it in controlled processing and a stable storage environment. He further inferred that the harvesting requirements depend on the final product sought, specific needs such as maturity and evenness, and intended use, which dictates the harvesting management and timing at which rhizomes are harvested.
Harvesting of crops could include combining all processes: Cutting, digging, picking, gathering, transport, and stacking. After average maturity, the harvest occurs to remove grains, straws, tubers, and so on with minimum loss. In traditional harvesting of ginger, diggers, hoes, and spades are used with humans, providing the power to penetrate the soil and uproot the ginger rhizomes.
Some researchers (Agbetoye (1999), Akinbamowo (2013), and Subramanian et al. (2015)) reported that there are several modern design of harvesters utilized for reaping crops. There are also different harvesting principles of operation employed based on the category of crops to be harvested. These designs were possible to incorporate the following: sickles, hand tools, and reapers are utilized for grain crops while diggers are primarily used for underground crops (like turmeric, ginger, yam, cassava); these harvesters machine could be operated with various sources of power (Subramanian et al., 2015). Nevertheless, both tractor-mounted and self-propelled harvesters are mostly used to harvest other grain crops. It integrates into a single operation process that previously required three separate operations – reaping, threshing, and winnowing. Amongst the crops reaped with a combine harvester include oats, rye, maize, barley, corn, soya beans, wheat and flax (Akinwunmi, 2013).
Agbetoye et al. (2011) and Akinbamowo (2013) reported that plough was the earliest attempt to mechanize tropical root crops' harvesting. The main mechanism is an oxen-drawn digger or a tractor coupled with a share and rising fingers. Sometimes sifting fingers are connected at the rear of the rising fingers for adequate sorting. One of the earliest known harvester is the potato spinner, which consist of a flat share fixed horizontally to a tractor to plough the earth and hoist the root crops. The hoist material is further transferred into a rapidly rotating tine series on a hub that is either by land wheel driven or PTO. The tines break the soil and detach the crop.
Younus and Jayan (2015) described the manually operated IITA cassava lifter as another early harvester consisting of a lever and fixed gripping jaw are mounted to the frame for uprooting cassava roots.
Numerous harvesting techniques have been initiated to harvest similar crops like cassava, potatoes, cocoyam, and turmeric using mechanical diggers. Also, an effort has been made to design a ginger harvester using blades (diggers) powered by an electric motor (Sanjay et al., 2015).
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Most manual harvesting operations are done with rudimentary equipment like cutlasses, hoes, and diggers. These harvesting methods are slow, leading to drudgery, leaving a considerable amount of the tubers either remaining in the ground or damaged (Agbetoye, 1999). Manual ginger harvesting is tedious, risky, energy-sapping, and time-consuming, resulting in the loss of ginger rhizomes and a low production rate (Sanjay et al., 2015).
According to Younus and Jayan (2015), manual harvesting of cassava requires about 22-62 man-hour per hectare. Padmanathan et al. (2006) emphasized that the practice of traditional threshing and harvesting of groundnut consumes a considerable amount of labour to the magnitude of 84 man-hours per hectare.
Igbo et al. (2016) opined that ginger production mechanization had received little attention in Nigeria. Only a small number of farmers use mechanized farm machines for field preparation involving ploughing, harrowing, and ridging. The majority of ginger cultivators are peasant and small scale farmers and they prepare their fields using conventional approach. Most farm operations in Nigeria like planting, mulching, fertilizer application, weeding as well as harvesting are usually accomplished traditionally. They further syllogized that the low level of ginger rhizome harvests results from inadequate adaptable farm mechanization technologies and management practices in Nigeria.
By hand forks or with diggers, farmers' traditional harvesting method employed to deracinate ginger is among the primary root causes of ginger's low production. Notwithstanding the technological breakthrough in the development and fabrication of harvesters, for example, carrot harvester, groundnut harvester, cassava harvester, cocoyam harvester, yam harvester, etc., little has been done for the ginger harvester. There is no ginger harvester in Nigeria, but an engine-driven ginger harvester has been designed in India by Sanjay et al. (2015).
Therefore, the problems facing this study include the following:
(i) Non-availability of locally designed or fabricated machine for harvesting ginger.
(ii) Low production rate, occasioned by manual harvesting.
(iii) Harvesting constitutes a significant impediment because of the energy expended and time spent in uprooting the ginger rhizomes.
(iv) Harvesting exposes individuals to high risks and hazards.
In this project, a typical ginger harvesting machine will be designed, developed, and evaluated in such a manner that it will be capable of efficiently harvesting all ginger rhizomes.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.3.1 General objective of the study
The general objective of the study is to develop a single-row tractor-drawn ginger rhizome harvester.
1.3.2 Specific objectives of the study
The specific objectives of the study are to:
(i) design a tractor-drawn ginger rhizome harvester
(ii) fabricate a tractor-drawn ginger rhizome harvester
(iii) determine the draught requirement for operating the developed harvester as affected by soil moisture and angle of inclination of the digger and
(iv) evaluate the performance of the developed tractor-drawn ginger rhizome harvester in terms of effective field capacity, field efficiency, and percentage rhizome damage.
1.4 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
Harvesting constitutes a major operation among agricultural activities. It is considered for a long time as the last step in production; instead, it must be approached as the first one in the postproduction system. The techniques for harvesting crops differ based on the type of plant to be harvested. Cereal crops are first cut either as a whole or partially (ears) and then threshed and cleaned to separate the grain from the ears and straw, but for forage crops the whole plant is entirely cut. Root and tuber crops are quite different because the crop is uprooted while the soil sticking to it is removed. Odigboh (2006) enumerated the most severe bottleneck in agricultural mechanization: planting, weeding, harvesting, and peeling. Therefore, it is pertinent to develop mechanized equipment that tackles the challenges encountered during ginger's harvesting.
A ginger harvesting machine will be developed to overcome the drudgery, time-wasting, and low productivity associated with the manual harvesting method. The ginger harvester's design and operation's simplicity will improve the quantity and quality of harvested ginger rhizomes, thus increasing ginger rhizomes' yield in the country.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE WORK
This study's scope encompasses the design, development, and evaluation of ginger harvester, which is tractor drawn, and the rhizomes are manually collected.
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