Since winning his first award at the Boerepatente competition at Nampo in 2010, Michris Janse van Rensburg of Bultfontein in the Free State has enjoyed considerable success with his Backsaver hand planter and fertiliser applicator.
He currently exports implements for projects aimed at small-scale farmers in countries such as Ghana and Zambia. The Ghana project, for example, recently took delivery of an order of Backsaver implements comprising 2 000 hand planters and 200 Combi push planters and fertiliser applicators.
In the past, farmers had trouble correctly applying the five bags of fertiliser each of them was supplied with. Often, the fertiliser would run out before half the area was planted. The Backsaver fertiliser unit ensures precise application rates – and plants the seeds accurately.
One implement, two operations
Pushing the Combi unit can be heavy going, but using it first as a fertiliser applicator and, in a second operation, as a planter lessens the load. This method has proved highly effective where the ground has not been particularly well prepared: applying the fertiliser initially prepares a firm seedbed for the subsequent planting, resulting in excellent germination.
Remarkable results from Mozambique
Michris Janse van Rensburg saw an appeal on Facebook from missionary Jaco Rudolph in Mozambique. He was planting maize and needed to improve production for church funds. Janse van Rensburg donated a Backsaver hand planter and a fertiliser applicator. The results were spectacular, with a claimed yield of about 9t/ha, compared with an average local yield of approximately 1t/ha.