Wednesday, August 12 2020

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Pomelo grower makes his own fertilising, watering equipment

Update: June, 27/2020 - 10:00
Cơ runs his own fertilising, watering equipment in Thường Tân Commune, the southern province of Bình Dương.—Photo nongnghiep.vn

BÌNH DƯƠNG — Nguyễn Văn Cơ, 62, of Thường Tân Commune, the southern province of Bình Dương, has made equipment that combines fertilising, spraying pesticides and watering to cultivate 800 pomelo trees in his garden.

Cơ, who dropped out of education after primary school, said fertilising and spraying pesticides on the trees was time-consuming, costly and very hard, but doing so properly was crucial to their growth and productivity.

He decided to come up with a way to make fertilising and watering simpler but still effective, as well as to reduce the cost to hire workers to do the job.

After several days of thinking, he told his idea to his cousin, a mechanic.

His cousin said he would help Cơ to create the equipment he wanted, Nông nghiệp Việt Nam (Vietnamese Agriculture) online newspaper reported.

Creating his own equipment

Cơ and his cousin started to research and decided to make the equipment based on the operation of the Venturi effect, a system for speeding the flow of fluid, by constricting it in a cone-shaped tube.

Their equipment consisted of a pump with a system of plastic pipes. The size of the pipe in each section was adjusted to fit the mountainous terrain of the garden.

When the water flows with different pressures, a vacuum will be generated. It will draw other substances from the bottom of the pipes following the direction of the flow.

The more difference in pressure, the stronger the vacuum was and vice versa, he said.

Cơ and his cousin used this to draw the fertiliser in the flow of water to bring it to the trees, he said.

It took Cơ and his cousin three months to create the equipment, he said.

But when the equipment was put into operation, there was a problem. It worked well with pesticides and water, but not when the fertiliser was in the pipes.

“So we need to treat the fertiliser into liquid before putting it into the pipe system," he added.

Cơ and his cousin then designed a device to generate convection in water, attaching it to the discharge port of the pump that was placed close to the bottom of the water tank.

When the pump operates, the device creates a convective flow to push the fertiliser from the bottom of the water tank to the top, speeding up the dissolution of the fertiliser into the water.

Thanks to this device, Cơ is able to avoid the danger of being in direct contact with the fertiliser repeatedly each day, he said.

Cost reduction, copyright registration

Cơ had to pay about VNĐ50 million (US$2,160) each year to hire four workers to assist him in spraying pesticides, fertilising and watering for the trees before.

Now he can save the money on labour and only has to pay several million đồng to make his own equipment.

Thanks to the equipment, Cơ harvested more the 100 tonnes of pomelo over the Tết (Lunar New Year) period (January 2020), about 20 per cent more than in the same period last year when he did not use the equipment.

He earned a profit of about VNĐ1 billion ($43,190) at that time.

Cơ is a member of Đồng Thuận Phát Agriculture and Service Co-operative.

All 24 members of the co-operative operate his equipment to cultivate their 100ha of fruit trees.

Trịnh Minh Thành, director of the co-operative, said the equipment Cơ made not only helped local growers cut costs but also protected their health due to limiting exposure with fertiliser and pesticides.

The co-operative has submitted to the provincial Science and Technology Department to issue a copyright certificate for Cơ, Thành said.

Then, the co-operative would set up a workshop to produce the equipment at a reasonable price to sell across the country. —VNS

 

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