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Rice husk recycling technology launched

03 May 2013, 19:03 James Kabotia

A new technology aimed at recycling rice husks to make charcoal for domestic use has been established in Kirinyaga County.

The technology which has been imported from Japan is seen as panacea to the perennial problem of rice waste management which had become an environmental challenge to rice farmers.

According to Nice Rice Millers director Njiru Mkombosi, the technology will recycle rice husk into environment friendly charcoal.

He revealed that he has imported a recycling machine worth KES 500 000 million shillings which will produce six tones of charcoals per day.

Njiru pointed out that rice waste management problem has now become a thing of the past in Mwea rice growing area and farmers will be able to use the waste for their domestic use.

The director said that with the new technology, environmental conservation will be enhanced since many people will not use firewood for fuel.

“The new technology will protect trees as many people will use the charcoal from rice husks for cooking,” he noted.

An Italian engineering student Luigi Francesco has also invented a cooking stove which will use rice husks for fuel instead of firewood.

Luigi revealed that the project which is being tested in Mwea will enable farmers to use rice husk in its raw form or as rice husk charcoal.

He said that the stove would be available to farmers, noting that the rice husks will now be economically beneficial to farmers.

“We are testing the cooking stove here in Mwea and we hope it would be of great help to rice farmers,” he noted.

Mkombosi revealed that rice husk charcoal is environmental friendly as it does not emit the poisonous carbon monoxide which has been associated with several deaths especially in slums and rural areas where wood charcoal usage is high.

“The rice husk charcoal is also long lasting and can be used for a longer time compared to the tree charcoal which burn out quickly,” affirmed the director.

Njiru said that though it is long lasting, the new charcoal variety is pocket friendly as it is affordable even to low income earners.

The rice husk had become an environmental issue in the expansive Mwea irrigation scheme with many farmers resorting to burning it since rice husk does not rot.

Many farmers have welcomed the new technology saying that it will solve their problems on rice waste management.

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