THE PAVILIONS PHUKET EPL Prediction Competition 2018-2019 Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Myanmar farmers reap rewards from 3D printing

MYANMAR: Whizzing across a blue-lit platform with a whirr and a squeak, liquid plastic emanating from its chrome tip, the 3D printer seems a far cry from the muddy, crop-filled fields that fringe Yangon.

technologyagriculturelandMyanmar
By AFP

Saturday 28 January 2017, 02:00PM


Betel leaf farmer Kyaw Win holding plastic sprinkler nozzles, made using 3D printer technology, at a betel leaf farm in Nyaung Don township in Irrawaddy Region. Photo: Ye Aung Thu/AFP

Betel leaf farmer Kyaw Win holding plastic sprinkler nozzles, made using 3D printer technology, at a betel leaf farm in Nyaung Don township in Irrawaddy Region. Photo: Ye Aung Thu/AFP

But in an industrial park south of Myanmar’s commercial hub, the advanced technology is now being used to design bespoke parts that are changing the lives of impoverished farmers.

Myanmar’s manufacturing sector was gutted under five decades of isolationist military rule, forcing farmers to cobble together their own tools or use ill-adapted imports.

Poor equipment has only added to the hardships of growing crops in the disaster-prone country, where farmers account for nearly half of the economy’s output despite being among the poorest producers in Asia.

But in one corner of Yangon, change is afoot.

Over at social enterprise Proximity Designs, cutting-edge 3D printer technology is being used to design specially adapted tools, in consultation with the farmers who use them.

“We want to create something that farmers find delight in,” product designer Taiei Harimoto said at their workshop, where robotic arms line the walls near benches littered with tools and mechanical parts.

The printer, a small, black, hollow cube with a needle inside attached to a computer, has already been put to use helping design parts for a sprinkler system and the internal mechanics for a solar pump.

Creating prototypes in plastic means the team can perfect designs for complex pieces in the lab, cutting out a lengthy back-and-forth that can cost thousands of dollars.

Once the design has been perfected, it is then sent off to factories in other countries where the final part is mass produced.

“Before it might have taken weeks and sometimes months” to make the prototypes for each product, said co-founder Debbie Aung Din.

Out in the fields, farmers say they are already seeing their profits grow.

On his tiny half-acre plot some 100 kilometres from Yangon, betel leaf farmer Kyaw Win said his life has been changed by the 3D printer-designed sprinkling system he installed over two months ago.

“Using products like this can cut in half the amount of time we have to spend working each day,” the 60-year-old said as he stroked the plants’ wide leaves, which many people in Myanmar chew as a stimulant.

Instead of paying labourers to water the plants using buckets – back-breaking work that often meant the leaves became damp and diseased – now he has a targeted system that he can operate himself.

“We also reduced our costs by more than half compared to what we had to spend before,” he explained.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket boat mechanic dies after getting neck caught in engine

R2,he gave his opinion already.Why should he waste his time with further speculations ? ...(Read More)


Campaign launched after dozens of dead, injured turtles wash ashore Phuket beaches

Thailand never agreed to sign fishing international convention that all trawlers must have a 'tu...(Read More)


Phuket boat mechanic dies after getting neck caught in engine

"No need to investigate further. As usual, Ben and Kurt already have the facts," as usual ...(Read More)


Medical marijuana trials to start soon

These tests are a senseless waste of time since it's all been extensively done by western countr...(Read More)


Two dead as motorbike slams power pole on Phuket’s bypass road

"...It was not reported whether the couple were wearing helmets at the time of the accident...&...(Read More)


Civil action to be taken against shot Phuket driver’s family

Martin... look at the photo, I also CLEARLY stated, has anyone seen the video, as PN have NOT provid...(Read More)


All nine in Phuket suspect shot dead incident charged with attempted murder

Guys, please, so far we only have the "rightous" RTP word that there were guns, and he rai...(Read More)


Civil action to be taken against shot Phuket driver’s family

Maybe as miraculously as "saw"became"so",the video he saw miraculously changed t...(Read More)


All nine in Phuket suspect shot dead incident charged with attempted murder

If you pull a gun on cops, you should be shot, maybe not fatally, but shot. Having several guns in t...(Read More)


Phuket boat mechanic dies after getting neck caught in engine

The Story stinks, I never saw any of this Tour boats actually sailing.They run the engines full tim...(Read More)


 

Melbourne Cup 2018