GROWING BLACK PEPPER WITH LESS WATER IN LA BREL VILLAGE, VIETNAM
ofi has established a world-class black pepper estate in the heart of the Chu Puh District in the Gia Lai Province of Vietnam. This is a very rural area where water scarcity is a serious challenge, especially during the summer.
The ofi team on the estate has taken many steps to conserve and optimize water usage throughout all stages of our operations. For example, we use the following methods:
Rainwater harvesting: Five reservoirs holding a total of 800,000m3 of water are used to store runoff rainwater for summer irrigation. This results in approximately 40% less water use compared to previous irrigation methods.
Drip Irrigation: We use precise methods to distribute small amounts of water and nutrients are applied directly to the roots of the pepper plants. Where water use was around 180m3/week/ha using the conventional irrigation method, the innovative drip irrigation brought this down to 128m3/week/ha -- a reduction of almost 30%.
Precision AgTech: By partnering with specialized experts on irrigation, we’ve been able to reduce the amount of water needed by distributing water with more precision, as well as monitoring soil moisture and the volume of water drip irrigated.
Cover Cropping: The estate uses a crop that conserves moisture in the soil, reducing the need for extra water through irrigation.
“Pepper plants require water during summer, and irrigation is inevitable for maintaining our pepper crop on the estate. Using a precision ag-tech system, we can deliver the right amount of water at the right place and the right time and ultimately save considerable amounts of water during the process.” Mr. NGUYỄN NGỌC BẢO, Irrigation Manager for ofi.
Check out the virtual tour for an impressive view of the pepper estate and some of the initiatives on the ground.