Our Programme Foci
Ecological Agriculture
Where We Work: Sichuan / Chongqing

Innovation in Ecological Agriculture— An Insect Trapping Cloth and Soil Punching Devices for the Mulch Cultivation of Rice

Yuan Yong (Dongxi Township Agricultural Service Centre, Jianyang City, Sichuan)

“The farmers are capable of bringing up ideas. We have to trust them and provide them with opportunities. If we encourage them and engage them, they will do a lot of things on their own initiative. Now they have given up using pesticides on their own initiative to save labour and expenses. What the farmers have in their minds is: This is my place so I’m the one to make decisions.”— Yuan Yong, Lessons from his 17 years of agriculture extension experience in rural China.

Simple “yellow insect trap cloth”

Simple “yellow insect trapping cloth”: invented by Wu Yinquan, villager of the 8th group in Shuanghe Village, Dongxi Town of Jiangyang City, Sichuan

The commercial yellow insect sticky traps normally sold in shops are yellow boards on which special glue is spread to trap pests, as they are enticed to things of a yellow colour. The boards are put in the fields to entice and trap pests such as aphids, whiteflies and South American miner flies. It is a physical pest-control technique. However, the price of the boards is relatively high and not many shops sell them, so they are not very popular among local farmers.

In Shuanghe Village, Dongxi Town of Jiangyang City in Sichuan, a farmer called Wu Yingquan has demonstrated his creativity in making a simple “yellow insect trapping cloth” to trap and kill pests. Cotton cloth does not require any special treatment and can be tailor-made in size for the crops the cloth is going to protect. It can be secured to a tree or to the ground. The insect trapping cloth has the advantage of not blocking the sun. It is suitable for vegetable fields and for orchards which are not completely covered. For one mu of land, one needs 10–15 pieces of yellow insect trapping cloth. They only have to be placed evenly around the area.

Not only is the simple yellow insect trapping cloth cheap, the material is widely available. Hence it is more readily accepted by farmers. 

Soil punching device for water-saving mulch cultivation of rice (1)

Soil punching device for the water-saving mulch cultivation of rice (1): Invented by Wu Bixian, villager of the 12th group of Xinsheng Village, Dongxi Town of Jiangyang City, Sichuan

 

The water-saving technique of mulch cultivation of paddy requires holes to be made in soil at definite intervals for transplanting rice seedlings. If a farmer had to measure the distance and punch holes during transplanting, it would take a lot of time and effort.

In Xinsheng Village, Dongxi Town of Jiangyang City in Sichuan, a farmer called Wu Bixian made use of an unused wooden board to make a device for making holes to transplant seedlings. Following the transplanting specifications, he nails cone-shaped pegs about 2 cm in diameter through the board at definite intervals. Afterwards, he lays down the board on the soil surface. With only a light press, he manages to make holes in soil at definite intervals with minimum time and labour.

Soil punching device for water-saving mulch cultivation of rice (2)

This device for making holes is an improvement version over the wooden board device mentioned above. The inventor is called Ma Pinsheng, who lives in Liujia Village, Dongxi Town of Jiangyang City in Sichuan. He uses a wooden log 12.74 cm in diameter (the diameter depending on the interval between the seedlings) and a similar in length to the width of the farming strip.

Following the transplanting specifications, cone-shaped wooden pegs about 2 cm in diameter are fixed into the log at intervals. Besides these, two metal nails (about 10 cm long) are anchored towards the two ends of the log with a rope attached to them. Farmers can then rotate the log by pulling the rope at the front. Holes will be punched at definite intervals when the log rotates. This design is more labour-saving and efficient.

Soil punching device for the water-saving mulch cultivation of rice (2): Invented by Ma Pinsheng, villager of the 9th group of Liujia Village, Dongxi Town of Jiangyang City, Sichuan

 

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