Click on “Download PDF” for the PDF version or on the title for the HTML version.

If you are not an ASABE member or if your employer has not arranged for access to the full-text, Click here for options.

Ergonomic Evaluation of an Indigenous Tillage Tool Employed in Nigerian Agriculture

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  028001,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.9236) @2002
Authors:   Taiwo I. Oyedemi, Abel Olajide
Keywords:   Ergonomics, indigenous, tillage, tool, Nigeria

About 86 % of the total agricultural land under cultivation in Nigeria is prepared using Hand-Tool Technology (HTT), i.e., simple tools such as hoes, matchets, sickles, and wooden diggers, as opposed to Draught Animal Technology (DAT) and Engine Power Technology (EPT), which account for 4 % and 10 % of the sources of power for the total land cultivated espectively.The design features of a hoe have considerable implications on its performance efficiency and the health of the user. For instance, positive correlations have been established between the scooping efficiency and both the angle of inclination of the blade to the handle, and the length of the hoe handle. Also, the constant use of a shorthandled hoe may result into permanent deformation of the user's spine. Hence, an ergonomic evaluation of existing hand hoes in the country would assist in the design of improved versions. This paper presents the results of an ergonomic evaluation conducted on a local ridging hoe type commonly employed in Oyo State, Nigeria. The parameters evaluated included the length of the hoe handle, the total weight of the hoe and the weight ratios of the hoe to both the handle and the blade, the surface area of the blade, and the angle of inclination of the blade to the hoe handle. A total of 40 hoes surveyed in five towns were evaluated. Results obtained indicatedthat the hoes were: short-handled, with an average handle length of 0.55 m; relatively heavy with an average weight of 2.5 kg an average blade- to- hoe weight ratio of 1:2; an average handle- to- hoe weight ratio of 1:3; and had relatively large surface areas and rather small angles of inclination of the blades to the handles, the average values being 0.06 m2 and 480 respectively. The average length of the hoe handles confirmed their relative suitability as ridging hoes, though with some attendant disadvantages. The average blade- to- hoe weight ratio was considered acceptable as it enhances good soil penetration. The average surface area of the blade was also considered adequate for optimum scooping of soil material during ridging of inclination. However, the average angle of inclination of the blade to the handle was noted as a possible major contributor to the relatively high energy expenditure during ridging reported in previous studies on Nigerian hoes.

(Download PDF)    (Export to EndNotes)