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In the northeast part of Thailand, poor soybean farmers who cannot afford power driven farm tools spend long, tiring hours seeding their farms by hand. It is done in three steps: making the holes, dropping the seeds in, and covering them up. The task is time consuming and tiring.

The Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok has developed a new tool called the jab-seeder, which is a low cost, simple, easy to operate alternative for manual seeding of farms. It increases productivity, reduces planting costs, and reduces the drudgery of the task.

The main advantages of the jab-seeder are that holemaking and seed dropping are done simultaneously, and there is no bending or squatting. It significantly cuts down on the labour requirements (and therefore the costs) of the planting process. A farmer using the seeder punches it into the ground to make a hole and the seed is dropped into the hole as the seeder is lifted.

The jab-seeder has the following features:

  • It is useful in various types of soil, including untilled (wet) soil, conventionally tilled soil (with or without residues from previous crops), sandy loam, loamy soil, or clay loam soil.
  • It weighs 2 kilograms and is 1.5 metres long.
  • It can adjust the amount of seed to be planted per hectare.
  • It can seed soybean, mungbean, rice, maize, peanuts, and cotton.
  • Its design can be adapted according to locally available materials.
  • It has four different types of soil openers (hole makers) for various soil conditions.

The jab-seeder has been disseminated in Thailand through promotion on TV and through posters and pamphlets; training sessions with farmers and extension workers; and work with manufacturers and sales networks. There is interest in other Asian countries in disseminating the jab-seeder to small farmers.

Cost and availability
The jab-seeder costs approximately US$10.00. It is made by three Thai manufacturers:

Ar ree Ar thorn, 253/1 3 Talad Chong kae, Amphur Takli, Nakornsawan, Thailand.
Kunasin, 107 108 Srisatchanalai Rd., Amphur Sawankalok, Sukhothai, Thailand.
Anusarn Co. Ltd., 94 120 Chareonmuang Rd., Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Contact Manual Seeder Project Division of Agricultural and Food Engineering, Asian Institute of Technology, GPO Box 2754, Bangkok 10501, Thailand


This article was published with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada. It is adapted from 101 Technologies from the South for the South, 1992, IDRC, P.O. Box 8500, Ottawa, Canada, K1G 3H9.

Information Sources

The Asian Institute of Technology has published manuals in Thai and English:

Operator’s Manual – AIT Jab-Seeder

Manufacturer’s Manual – AIT Jab-Seeder. Engineering drawings and technical assistance in the manufacture of the seeder can be obtained from AIT, Box 2754, Bangkok 10501, Thailand.