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Blenheim, New Zealand

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Yam Growing Concept

August 1, 2016

Blog # 3                 Yam Growing Concept


One of the Tongan village projects we are investigating is growing yams for export.

A Tongan Yam looks like:




They are currently grown like:




Digging them out is very hard work, so the NMIT Carpentry students have constructed an above the ground structure that looks something like:




We envisage these to be in rows 24 metres long. These structures will cost around $6000 per 100 m

Each 100 m will require to be filled with 50 m3 of growing media, and so will need something like:




fitted with a front end loader. (Otherwise it will require 600 wheel barrow loads).

As the yams will be grown above ground level, they will need irrigation.

We are planning to use drip line – something like:




What we will need is a water supply, as developing a system including digging a well is out of this price range. So from the village supply (which needs to be confirmed), we would need a 5000 litre holding tank:




Attached to the tank is a small solar powered pump:




comes with




Automated by a battery powered 6 station controller





One of the features of this concept is that we can go out to the NZ community for $6000 to fund each 100 m of growing structure. Once the first one was built, it would be very easy to sell it to groups such as Rotary etc.

The yams take about 9 months to grow. For harvesting one side will be opened, and the yams removed. The growing media will then be replenished with compost and seaweed extract and replaced.


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