Integrated mobile network and ICT services provider, TNM Plc has presented a phone and year-long data package to 13-year old Kelvin Batwell who invented a groundnuts plucking machine as a way of encouraging his innovative aspirations.
The young inventor received a KXD W55S mobile phone and will for the next 12 months receive a monthly data allocation from TNM.
The Standard 7 pupil from Nkhukwa Primary School in Traditional Authority Kalumbu in Lilongwe District came into limelight recently when he was decorated as overall winner of an agricultural science technology competition.
The competition known as AgTech Challenge was organized by the Centre for Agricultural Transformation (CAT). It is competed for by students from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions who make entries on innovations that address challenges faced by Malawian groundnut farmers.
TNM Chief Marketing Officer, Vishwajeet Deshmukh, said the gesture is in line with their drive to nurture innovation at various levels.
“As a brand that supports innovation, we decided to give the boy tools that will harness his innovative drive. We are helping him learn more about his area of interest from resources on the internet. Through exposure to the digital world, Kelvin shall expand his knowledge and do even greater things. We believe the tools and support we have given him will spur him to do more,” said Deshmukh.
The young innovator from Nkhukwa Primary School in Traditional Authority Kalumba in Lilongwe recalled his first steps back in 2016 while in Standard 5.
“One day I accompanied my father to harvest groundnuts. After getting tired of plucking the nuts,I temporarily sought shelter under a mango tree where my father had parked his bicycle. While there I turned the bike upside down and tried plucking using the spokes while turning around the wheel. It worked so perfectly and that was it,” he recalled.
The success of his discovery under the mango tree helped Kelvin pitch the same idea at school during the CAT technology science competition.
Kelvin says he envisions more innovations to ease farming which he says has been a labor-intensive activity with minimal outcomes.
“I plan to start working on a machine that will cultivate land and remove weeds easily. I know there are tractors but the fact that they are expensive means we need to invent simple and cheap tools for our gardening.”
Kelvin says his innovation was inspired by Malawi’s renowned innovator and author, William Kamkwamba of the ‘Boy who harnessed the wind’ fame.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :