A young Vietnamese man has designed a new machine which can automatically feed shrimp, one of Vietnam's lifeline food exports.
Vietnam was the world’s third-largest exporters of shrimp in 2017, and these aquatic animals are kept aplenty in the Mekong Delta, especially its member regions of Ca Mau, Bac Lieu, Soc Trang, Kien Giang and Ben Tre Provinces.
Living in Dam Doi District, Ca Mau Province, Nguyen Hai Dang, 27, has been able to produce automatic shrimp feeding machines which are purchased locally, nationally and internationally, with orders from Chinese and Korean customers.
Five years ago, he germinated the idea of the food-providing equipment after seeing farmers manually prepare and scatter food for shrimp over a wide lake used for keeping the creatures.
His machine is aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the practice and saving the keepers’ effort, partly by its function of timed feeding.
After spending six months of experiencing multiple failures and learning technology and experience in many places, he successfully created the prototype of an automatic shrimp feeding machine, which can be remotely controlled.
The first model, completed in August 2013, weighed around 20 kilograms and could hold as many as 60 kilograms of food.
Food is moved downward from a container to a centrifugal processing system. The resultant pieces are cast in many directions by a device placed at the bottom that can adjust the throwing reach.
The machine also has the advantages of selling at a competitive price and being simple in operation.
Dang encountered difficulty persuading farmers to use his product.
At first he begged them to accept it for a trial period after which they might return the machine if it was unsatisfactory, but later many have realized the benefits it provides.
He sold more than 100 feeding machines after several months from the creation of the original design.
In 2016, he was honored as a young man with an impressive achievement in business and technology.
Now Dang owns a 2,000 square meter workshop to make on a large scale the machines, which are advertised and offered on his own website.
It may come as a surprise that he did not finish his higher education.
As a second-year student, he stopped studying business administration at a university in Ho Chi Minh City in 2010, for he wished to tread a different pathway.
He decided to travel across Vietnam to broaden his horizons.
“At that time I was only over twenty, didn’t know much about life, and didn’t know how my future would be. I felt the desire to embark on journeys and have more experience in life. The more I traveled, the more I recognized valuable things in life,” Dang recalled.
He returned to his home town in Ca Mau Province to start making his earnings, and shrimp feeding machines came into existence subsequently.
“My strongest wish is forming a group of like-minded peers to develop agriculture,” he said.