The job scope and responsibilities of planters have increased dramatically in recent years – all too often, they have to manage a big land area, with lower skilled and less experienced workers. They also have to satisfy the interests of stakeholders, cope with social welfare issues, respond to Environment Safety Health and sustainability auditors, and attend meetings regularly.
As a result, millennials – identified as those born between 1980 and 1995 – are not generally attracted to plantation jobs, with the demanding workload and challenges of multitasking in an outdoors environment.
However, the use of technology and smart phones could counter such reluctance, and enable them to work effectively and efficiently. Tools such as Apps, sensor technology and intelligent logarithm software will assist in quick reference and swift decision-making in daily estate operations.
To help with weed management and Pest and Disease (P&D) issues, for example, I have developed an Oil Palm Pesticides Calculator App. This is available free of charge in the Google Play Store. Just search for ‘Oil Palm Pesticides Calculator App’, click on it and download.
The App can be used even when there is no data or Internet connection. It is divided into five sections. The first four are separate calculators for Sprayer Calibration (add the required information to the column in the blue icon); Herbicide Mixing, Insecticide Mixing and Fungicide Mixing.
Calibration of spray equipment and application of the correct dose of pesticides are important for a satisfactory ‘kill’. This will not only reduce over-use of pesticides, but will save costs as well.
The final section in the App is a guide to weeds and P&D management, with the recommended rate being based on general conditions. To control tough problems, the user should consult the R&D department, General Manager or Plantation Advisors.
Developer, Oil Palm Pesticides Calculator
The author is not responsible for any liability, loss of profit or other damage caused directly or indirectly by the guidelines, techniques, recommendations or information in this article.