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Engineer-inventor's Multi-Grain Seeding Technology: Changing the farming landscape

“During my grade school days, I remember the adversities of my mother in the manual planting of corn to support our education ” uttered the inventor in a casual meeting.

Engr. Delfin C. Cuevas is a registered electrical engineer who has worked in major pipe mill and solar companies in Kenya and East Africa. However, after migrating to Canada at the age of 30, he met one of the biggest challenges in his professional career— falling short of standard to practice engineering in the country.

To continue providing for his family, he alternated working as a janitor in the morning and studying at night until he became an industrial electrician which allowed him to land a better job. Later on, he received a certificate as an Industrial Millwright— a professional who operates industrial machineries in construction sites, factories, and power plants. He worked his way until he obtained a Power Engineer Certification.

In his spare time, Engr. Cuevas loves to ideate leveraging his knowledge in electronics and automation. “My love for invention started as a pastime, but later, I got hooked to it, and now it has become my hobby and passion,” Engr. Cuevas said.

After working as an OFW for 33 years, he decided to return to his hometown in Brgy. Ipil, Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro to take care of his 97-year-old mother. Also, he started to design a machine that is projected to create a significant impact to local farmers.

Remembering the hardships encountered by his mother in planting corn drove Engr. Cuevas to create a technology that can mechanize planting. Called a “6-row Mutli-Grain Precision Seeder with Fertilizer Applicator,” the technology allows cost-effective and efficient planting of grains such as rice, corn, mung beans, and sorghum. It has a built-in fertilizer applicator that simultaneously dispenses the fertilizer along with seeds at a certain distance that will not affect seed germination. It is equipped with a leveler which flattens the soil before dispensing seeds and fertilizer.

3D Front and Isometric Views of the 6-row Multi-Grain Precision Seeder with Fertilizer Applicator

The new seeding technology boasts a distinct feature wherein it can be manually operated since it is lightweight and made of 3D-printed materials using PETG filament—a product known for its high strength, relative flexibility, and temperature resistance. In addition, the planting distance, volume of seeds, and fertilizer to be dispensed can be adjusted depending on the desired settings. All the parts are modular for easy cleaning and maintenance.

Engr.  Cuevas  worked  on  the  design  and  fabricated  the  prototype.  To  move  to  the commercialization of the invention, his brother told him to seek the assistance of DOST. With the help of the Municipal S&T Coordinator stationed in LGU-Bongabong, Engr. Cuevas’ concern was discussed with DOST-MIMAROPA through its Provincial S&T Office in Oriental Mindoro. Engr. Cuevas was advised to secure an intellectual property (IP) protection for his invention through the DOST-Technology Application and Promotion Institute’s (DOST-TAPI) Intellectual Property Rights Application Program (IPRAP). The IPRAP encourages local inventors to register their inventions.

With his limited knowledge in the process of obtaining IP protection, Engr. Cuevas requested the assistance of PSTO-Oriental Mindoro in the preparation of necessary documents for the registration of his invention. PSTO-Oriental Mindoro worked on crafting the detailed description of the newly-developed technology which covered articulating the specific functions of all its parts. He was guided on how to properly present and label the 3D drawings of his invention, and was supported in the patent search. The patent search ensures that the technology and its features is novel and unique and eligible for IP registration. Engr. Cuevas was also assisted in outlining the technical claims for his seeding equipment. DOST-MIMAROPA endorsed the IP application to DOST-TAPI. “I am beyond grateful for the technical support extended by DOST-MIMAROPA to fast-track the IP application that will ensure my invention’s protection,” told by Engr. Cuevas.

The newly-developed seeding technology was recognized by DOST-TAPI as a qualified invention to be applied for Utility Model and Industrial Design. As of January 2023, the IP application for his invention was already filed by DOST-TAPI to IPOPHL and awaiting the registration’s release. Engr. Cuevas is confident that his invention will significantly reduce the high production expenses in the current farming system in the locally and the country a whole especially in rice production. (VSM/DOST MIMAROPA)

Topmost photo:  Engr. Cuevas signing the data privacy agreement from DOST-TAPI

About the Author

Victoria Mendoza

Asst. Regional Head

Region 4B

Asst. Regional Head

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