Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Trimble donates laser leveling equipment for IRRI projects in Myanmar

A partnership with Trimble, a company that supplies farming solutions, has been helping the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) sustain the work to help farmers through promotion and adoption of the laser-assisted land-leveling technology.

Trimble has been a partner in the distribution of high-quality equipment as well as provision of equipment for demonstration and capacity building, and offers a reliable support service.

Just recently, Trimble donated brand-new laser equipment for use in IRRI projects in Myanmar. The donation was facilitated by IRRI’s Postharvest and Mechanization Unit as a result of discussions held during AGRITECHNICA Asia in Bangkok in March 2017. The equipment will be used for adaptive research in laser leveling and for field demonstrations under the Closing Rice Yield Gaps in Asia (CORIGAP) and MyRice projects.

CORIGAP and MyRice in Myanmar are funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), respectively. Both aim to increase farmers’ income, field productivity, and ensure sustainable rice farming.

Martin Gummert, IRRI senior scientist for postharvest and mechanization, emphasizes the importance to IRRI of the cooperation. “The partnership with Trimble offers a win-win situation for both parties: IRRI benefits from (A) equipment donations for use in its training programs, (B) verification of laser leveling under IRRI projects, and (C) technical support when needed from Trimble. Trimble, on the other hand, benefits from development of markets for laser leveling through in-country demonstrations, training activities, and linking up with equipment dealership.”

“Trimble is keen on spreading laser-assisted land-leveling wider to farmers and other end-users and meeting potential local distribution partners to bring the technology closer to them and establish an accessible and reliable after-sales service,” said Scot Craig, Trimble regional sales manager for Southeast Asia and Japan.

During the seminar on rice mechanization at AGRITECHNICA Asia, Justin Van Viersen, Trimble regional director for Asia-Pacific, lauded IRRI’s efforts in strengthening the partnership by highlighting Trimble’s role in the development and scaling out of laser-assisted land-leveling technology in South and Southeast Asia.

Laser land-leveling technology is now in use by its first adopters in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam, within IRRI’s ongoing projects in these countries. It has brought tremendous benefits in irrigated rice production system in many parts of South and Southeast Asia. Its impact involves savings in irrigation water; efficiency in input usage; optimized field operations; and uniformity in crop growth, resulting in increase in milling yield and better head rice yield—thereby increasing farmers’ income from rice production.

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