Wednesday, June 22, 2016


The deployment of labour and transport facilities to ensure optimum efficiency is achieved in applying fertilizers.

To plan distribution of quantities in order to minimize manual carries, particularly uphill, and to eliminate possible wastage of working time as a result of non-availability of materials.

Fertilizer application is normally a very labour intensive, arduous, unpleasent and unpopular job. More than other routine task undertaken by field labourers, large gang must work in concentrated endeavour with a degree of coodination. Arguement can develop, tempers flare up and mass 'walk-outs' are not known. Poor organisation can be a major source of exasperation. Consequently, particularly care is necessary to avoid causing increased tension.

1. Planing
As an example it is assumed that a feld area is 46 ha and the stand 130 palms per ha. an application rate of 2 kg per point will give a total fertilizer requirement of 11.96 tonnes or 299 x 40 kg sacks.
Prior to application, estimation of specific placement along each access road should be calculated with the help of of a field map showing all roads, natural obstacles such as streams of large drains, direction of palm rows and pertinent features, i.e vacant patches due to Ganoderma.
By the grouping of every 10 rows along the road and measuring the distance to be served by the road on both sides of it, average palms per row in the section can be roughly calculated. In the instance of sites B , the road with runs from north to south provides access to an average of 7 palms to the east and 13 plams to the west or an average of 20 palms per row.
Assuming the application rate in 2 kg per palm the requirement is 40 kg per row or 2 x 40 kg sack every second row.
Having established precisely the appropriate plkacing for each sack of fertilizer, the total should equate with the overall requirement of 299 sacks.
2. Distribution
Alternatives in common use are;-
i. Dumping of the appropriate number of sacks at convenient intervals alongside roads prior to the commencement of application.
This system is favoured in instances where applications per hectare are substantial such as bunch ash, or ground limestone. Savings are made in tractor running but double handling of sacks and possible rain damage are draawbacks.
ii. Loading the predetermined number of sacks onto a trailer and distributing fertilizer directly from the vehicle as it proceeds slowly along the road, stopping frequently
This method results in a wastage of tractor down time but the tractor/trailer unit serves as a 'command post' from which distribution can be monitored.
Manual carrying of fertilizers, particularly uphill, is a very arduous task which should be minimised by all possible means. Access along harverster's paths may be possible by tractor using a rear bucket attachment. krian carts, or even wheelbarrows, can also be of assistance in distributing unopened sacks to points distant from road side.
3. Application

For manual  applcation a 3 gallon bucket nestled in the arm of worker and pre-determined measure will suffice as application tool. However it is essential that the pre-determined measure is adequately calibtared so that there is no doubt as to the quantity of fertilizer it will contain at a given level eg. If an application of 1 1/2 Ib of MOP is required perpoint, use measures which hold exactly have a kilo when fertilizer is level with the top of the measure. For any lesser amount than a full measure, the measure sholud suitably be calibrated and marked.

s the most frequent fault inapplication is incoreect dosage per point it is impoerative that workers are edequately instructed befor work commences, if necessary giving each one a card showing the number of measures to apply perpoint. However very close supervision will be required to make sure that all workers continue to apply the correct dosage.

It is a mistake to ask workers to carry too large and heavy bucket because the natural tendency will be to make very generousapplications, unti the load is reduced to tolerable proportions. A 40 kg sack divided into 4 buckets is concidereda snsible means of achieving the objective of even distribution and reducing spillage.

Sack carriers need to be sufficientin numbers to keep pace with the application gang. Their job is exhausting and do need time for 'breather'. A bias of too many carriers may be mildly wasteful in labour utilisation, but too few willresult in the whole application gang sitting on their buckets waiting for supplies.

4. Supervisors

A responsible person is required at the distribution point to ensure that the number of sacks issued per row are as planned, or greater importance is the need for field inspection to see that tree to tree dosages are as per the specified amount, and are properly spread. Sites of very difficult acccess are the most likely places to received slipshod treatment, or be missed out completely.
If fertilizers are required to be raked in, or brushed under leaves litter, more realiable labourers or carriers rewarded for good work, can be allocated this task in order that they can bring poor application to thye attention of he supervisors.

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