Đồng Tháp startup turns caltrop skins into organic fertiliser

October, 15/2022 - 17:56

A 29-year-old man in Bình Thành Commune, Đồng Tháp Province built a caltrops skin fertiliser startup after seeing the potential of recycling the skin.

Nguyễn Trường An and his tablet fertiliser product made from caltrop skins. — Photo nld.com.vn 

ĐỒNG THÁP — A 29-year-old man in Bình Thành Commune, Đồng Tháp Province built a caltrops skin fertiliser startup after seeing the potential of recycling the skin. 

Caltrop is a kind of aquatic plant with short branches and furry skin texture grown in many parts of Việt Nam.  

Its fruit consists of two parts: a single giant seed inside and an outer skin. The seeds inside can be used to make cakes or can be eaten by themselves, and the skin always gets discarded. 

Nguyễn Trường An, the creator of the caltrop skin fertiliser, said that when people throw the skin away, they pollute their own living environment. 

He also views this action as being wasteful of such a good source of potential fertiliser. 

“I developed this type of fertiliser not only to fulfil my dream of working on a startup but to also protect the environment around me,” An said. 

In 2020, he began to collect caltrop skins from processing facilities in Đồng Tháp and began working on how to turn them into fertiliser. 

An said he collects around 30 tons of caltrop skins every month to work on the composting process and turns them into an organic microbial fertiliser. 

As of right now, he has produced powdered and tablet fertiliser products from the skins themselves.

The powdered fertiliser is sold in 25-kilogram bags. Tablet fertilisers are sold as two-kilogram bags costing VNĐ25,000 per bag (US$1.1). 

The tablets are often preferred by local garden owners for their compatibility with ornamental flowers and fruit trees.

Lê Nguyễn Huỳnh Anh, secretary of Bình Thành Commune Union, said that the Trường An fertiliser project has not only created an income for his family but also helps reduce environmental pollution in the commune. 

Anh also said that the commune union will help An to perfect his fertiliser products in terms of marketing and packaging.

Nguyễn Trường An is currently working on applying for a licence to get his product into the market. — VNS

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