4.1 PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
On most plantations, fertilizer is the highest cost item in oil palm plantations. The appropriate management techniques to optimize the efficiency of fertilizer utilization need to be done in order to produce a lot of bunch. Improved oil palm nutrition has been the single utmost important factor in the advancement of oil palm yields in Malaysia in the last decade (Chew, 1985).
Millions of ringgits of potential income are going to lose by not applying enough or not applying the right fertilizer, or applying the right fertilizer wrongly. During the economic life time of the oil palm, there are four phases which each phase has its own specific ...view middle of the document...
Weeded circles need to be kept clean of all plant growth especially for immature palms. If the weeded have been cleaned properly, the fertilizer applied will be used by the palms and not by the weeds. The fertilizer needs to be broadcasted evenly on the outer edge of the weeded circle.
However, the fertilizer application is usually done manually by the labours. This task is somehow labour intensive and time consuming as the labour will go around each immature palm in order to spread the fertilizer properly. Besides, the labour needs to be very careful to ensure the fertilizer is applied within the length limit. This is where the idea of designing this implement came out.
ii Expected Benefits
During the immature phase of oil palms, close attention and care is most needed. This design is expected to help in the application of fertilizer in immature areas which is normally done manually.
From the perspective of efficiency, it is believed that by using this implement, 30% more efficiency can be achieved compared to the previous design of solid fertilizer distributor implement. Besides, due to current labour shortage, this machine can help to reduce the numbers of required labours in completing...