Testing the Benefits of Mechanization with Aywa International in Senegal November 2011

Manual versus Pump-based Irrigation in an Urban Farm

  • Compare time to irrigate two areas with 6 micro-plots ≈ 18 m2
  • Each micro-plot receives ≈12 liters
Test Location at an urban farm in Malika
Hand watering from 2 x 1 liter cans
Hand watering using a pump
Pump and diesel motor assembly

Manual Irrigation Results

  • Irrigation time: 18 m2: 3 minutes & 48 seconds
  • Farmer would spend 1.5 hours watering 1 hectare (100 m2)
  • Water twice a day in dry season

Mechanized Irrigation Results

  • 18 m2 time: 1 minute & 10 seconds
  • Farmer would spend about 30 minutes watering 1 hectare and save 1 hour of time


  • Motorized watering can be about 3 times faster than manual watering
  • Time savings can be used for other productive activities (weeding, expanded planting)
  • Though not tested, drip irrigation and micro sprinklers remove all manual requirements for irrigation offering further time savings and water conservation.

Manual versus Mechanized Power for Traditional West Fishing Boats

  • Compare 7 Paddlers vs. one 4.5 inboard motor and propeller with 6 crew
  • Two wooden Pirogues, (fishing boat) each weighing ≈1 metric ton
  • Measure speed & fuel efficiency over ½ mile
Mechanized - Thai-style long-neck outboard
Manual - 7 person-crew w/6 paddles + 1 navigator
Test Location 1/2 mile of the Sine-Saloum River outside of Foundiougne, Senegal

Test Results Manual:

  1. ½ mile time: 9 minutes 32 seconds
  2. Max Speed: 5 km/hour (Cannot be sustained for more than 15-20 minutes)

Test Results Mechanized

  • ½ mile time: 4 minutes & 60 seconds
  • Max Speed 9.9 km/hour
  • (At Optimal Operating Level)
  • Fuel Efficiency: ≈5 km/liter (empty load)

Conclusion: A Long-Neck Outboard can...

  • Cut travel time by 50%
  • Travel 50 km on 10 liter tank
  • Cost of 10 liter tank 6750 CFA ($14)
  • Subsidized cost of 675 CFA/liter for 2 stroke fuel


Future Tests

Manual versus Mechanized Tilling

Manual versus Mechanized Peanut Shelling

Manual versus Mechanized Milling

Created By
Jonathan Rodrigues


Jonathan Rodrigues

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