Zambian innovator and entrepreneur,Musenga Silwawa has landed a spot in the inaugural Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.
Musenga Silwawa of Zambia Agriculture Research Institute developed a precision fertiliser applicator to help small-scale farmers work faster and more efficiently.
He will battle for the top prize with three other finalists from Tanzania, South Africa and Kenya.
The winner of the engineering innovations from sub-Saharan Africa will walk away with £25,000 while each runner-up will receive £10,000.
The finals will be held on the 1st of June in Cape Town.
According to a news release, the spot fertliser applicator is a simple, swift movement, especially when contrasted to the labour intensive process of bending over after every step to place a rough handful of mineral fertiliser in the ground.
40-year-old Musenga Silwawa drew his inspiration from small-scale farmers who cannot afford to waste fertiliser by applying it to an entire field. Applying fertiliser to crops by hand results in inconsistent application. It’s also time consuming, often requiring a big labour force, and has health implications for workers.
The Africa Prize is an initiative of the United Kingdom’s Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), with support from the Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund, Consolidated Contractors Company, ConocoPhillips and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.