Cambodian agricultural innovators, Agri-Smart have won a US patent prize.
The Elai rice seed planter is a tool that helps farmers reduce seed waste, increase yields, and reduce labor.
This machine has been given top honors of the Patent Office, at the US Patent and Trademark Awards.
Representatives, along with eight other candidates (selected from 69 major institutions from around the world) will visit the United States in November.
The Eli rice seeder is attached to a tractor when planting. Using it helps farmers to increase the yield by up to 20 percent, and it can also help reduce fertilizer and agricultural pesticide costs.
In addition, Eli also addresses the labor shortage in agriculture, taking only 45 minutes to plant a hectare of rice fields. A farmer sowing by hand takes about two hours or weeks, if transplanted by hand.
San Bunnica, Managing Director of Intelligent Agriculture, who researched and led the production team, said, “I am really happy. When I learned that this tool won the prestigious award, I did not believe that it was true. ”
As a farmer, San Bunnika said that finding workforce in agriculture was a difficult, along with rising wages.
“This is a proof that we as Cambodians can do everything in the right place, as well as create opportunities and resources,” he added. “So this award is an achievement of the whole Cambodian population. ”
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines has also been testing and demonstrating the device. It is hoped the device will be of interest to other rice producing countries.
The Sustainable Social Enterprise Enterprise, part of Brooklyn Bridge to Cambodia (BB2C), is committed to seeking innovative solutions to help farmers in Cambodia. Other agricultural equipment designed and manufactured in Cambodia include pumping, irrigation systems and rice seedlings.