CBSUA engineer gets P247-K grant for water lily harvester
Bicolano engineer Joel Sadol has been commissioned by the Department of Science and Technology for the fabrication of an improved water hyacinth harvester seen to benefit local fisher folk and handicraft makers in Camarines Sur.
The grant of P247,000 for Engr. Sadol of the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) in Pili, Camarines Sur will pave the way for the development of harvester with improved efficiency in harvesting and reducing fuel consumption.
The funding assistance is under the technology-based enterprise development program of the DOST’s Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI).
Regional Director Tomas Briñas said the idea surrounding the project was introduced by Sadol to the DOST to address the growing problem brought about by the wild aquatic plant in most of the region’s fresh water bodies.
The plant’s uncontrolled growth impacts on the usefulness of rivers and lakes in the region, according to Briñas.
The harvester will provide opportunities for livelihood as harvested water hyacinth can be made into exotic handicrafts and organic fertilizers.
Besides handicraft, the plant being abundant in nitrogen content, is also being used as a substrate for biogas production and the sludge obtained from the biogas.
As fertilizer, studies revealed that soils amended with water hyacinth actually becomes more fertile and conducive to agriculture than soils amended with chemical fertilizers as the plant has distinctive fibrous qualities that provide more soil aeration and superior moisture drainage.
Its dried stems are used for baskets and furniture while the fibers are used as raw material for paper.
Sadol had earlier built a model water hyacinth harvester funded by the DOST through the Philippine Council for Industry Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development. (PNA report)