Asia: Consistent production for Thai growers with help of smart irrigation unit

Last month we published an article about the record breaking yields at the Thai tomato grower Take Me Home. With the help of a special greenhouse design for tropic climates they achieve yields of 32 kilo per square meter. But it is not only the greenhouse design that helps them to achieve this; they also use a very remarkable advanced, but still affordable irrigation system....

For almost 3,5 years now, a ‘Sercom’ irrigation computer manages the irrigation and fertigation of their 11 greenhouses with great success. "Based on the climate of the exact moment of the day, the computer manages everything." said production director Thomas Ruiter. He explained that the Sercom computer measures the radiation of the sun, humidity and temperature with a weather station and adapts the irrigation frequency and duration, based on their settings. "Besides that, the computer mixes 5 different fertilizer solutions with the irrigation water and controls the Ec and pH levels."

Usually this technology can be found in more developed horticultural countries like The Netherlands, Spain, Canada, Mexico or Turkey. The technology is very efficient, but not always affordable in developing areas. The Sercom unit however is created as an affordable alternative solution to more expensive technologies, without compromising on quality. De Ruiter: "The system is designed in Holland, and the heart and core technology is shipped from the Netherlands to us in. We built the unit and computer ourselves from the parts that Sercom ships us, and combine that with other parts that are available on the local market, this makes the system affordable."

Thomas Ruiter and Menno Keppel of Take Me Home together with Luuk Runia of Greenhouse Solutions Asia.

Since the growers of Take Me Home are using the Sercom units, they have achieved better quality products and higher yields. "In the past the irrigation was managed manually; Now that they are supplying the plant with the necessary water and nutrition’s at the exact moment and in the exact quantities they are producing a better product, and most important; a very consistent production is created. "This was virtually not possible with manual irrigation", De Ruiter added. " In the six months after implementing the irrigation system of Sercom, we already counted a production increase of 25%. And since then we are also able to forecast productions better and be more consistent in our planning!"

For more information:
D.A.T.T. Co. Ltd.
Thomas Ruiter (e-mail)
Menno Keppel (e-mail)

Jan-Willem Lut (e-mail)


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