A new battery-operated digitized backpack sprayer is being introduced to local farmers increase their efficiency and ultimately their output.
The Division of Agriculture, on November 21st conducted a training on the use of what is described at the ergonomically designed and most advanced backpack sprayer in the world.
The training took place in Laplaine for farmers of that region. Next month other farmers island wide will be exposed to the new technology.
The Jackto battery operated knapsack sprayer has s a removable lithium ion battery that will provide 8 hours or more of continuous spraying and comes with a separate charger that recharges in 4 hours or less.
It has 5 pressure settings with pressure lock, audible walking speed indicator, led display, auto shut-down, hydraulic agitation and battery level indicator. Farmers will have the capacity to add chemicals without having to premix solution.
Agriculture Director, Ricky Brumant also participated in the training along with staff. He says the Division wants to change the way farmers work.
He said, “We want to change what farmers doing in a positive way. We are moving from pumping to battery operated so it makes your life easier, it makes your work easier. You will use less time on the farm and you can easily go and do other things. That is what the Ministry of Agriculture is about, moving forward in this new resilient dispensation is to do things better.”
Kennedy Paul of Caribbean Chemicals facilitated the training.
Based in Trinidad, he is Dominican and says this new technology is something that farmers will find useful.
“We farm on the hillsides and the areas which we farm are not really conducive to mechanization like the big tractors you will see on T.V. Our soil has a lot of big stones so farming can be very difficult.
“Although we do marginal farming and we have small holdings, we can adopt technology. At the end of the day for a young man like me to get into a particular field it has to seem profitable. We want to continue introducing technology into your agriculture, into your farms,” Paul said to trainees.
Jodi Legis is a toloma farmer is Delices who participated in the training last week.
“The Jackto spray can is a revolution in itself. Even as the young man explained explicitly what it is about, I feel and I think and I know that I can really use that for my plants because right now we have a moth infestation laying eggs on the leaves and you know that the leaves help the to make the toloma make its food and if there are no leaves, there is no crop,” he explained.
“So I believe [the new [knapsack] will be so effective. Currently I’ve been paying a man with a [tool] sometimes thirty, forty dollars just to do one plot for me, according to the size of the plot as well so I believe it will go a long way in helping me in my production.”
The Agriculture Ministry has secured 50 Jackto battery operated knapsack sprayers. Each of the seven agricultural regions have been designated two each for farmers use and the remaining 36 will go to farmer groups and individual large scale farmers.
The Agriculture Ministry says as the equipment becomes integrated into production, more will be sourced.
Farmers are also free to purchase their own for personal use.
The Jackto battery operated knapsack sprayer retails at US $400.