Eighteen-year-old Angelique Chen has an avid interest in science and technology, which she has combined with her strong affinity for growing crops to design her own vertical drum planter that removes the hassle of cultivating in a small space. The innovative teenager, who hails from St Mary, said that her invention is very cost-effective and environmentally friendly, too, as it is outfitted with an organic composter that allows for the average person to make their own organic fertilizer to grow crops.

“Earthworms are also placed into the composter to help with the process, which gives nutrients to the plants. This product also has waste management where a PVC pipe is placed at the bottom of the drum to collect excess water and nutrients that can be used to water the plants at the topic,” she explained as she highlighted the benefits of the vertical drum planter.

“I decided to showcase it in the Eat Smart, Grow Smart competition – a vertical drum planter that can plant 40 crops in a small space. It can be placed anywhere you like: on concrete, greenhouse, veranda, etc. It is also for all age groups as people who are older in age can use the vertical drum planter. It will prevent them from bending a lot,” Chen explained as she placed her invention on display at the 68th staging of the Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show in May Pen, Clarendon, where she copped the top award in the Grow Smart Competition.

For her innovation, she earned $500,000 along with a trophy and bragging rights. The enthusiastic Chen said that it was her interest in technology and science that led her to conduct research on YouTube for ideas on systems that can aid the growing of crops. With the help of her father, she was able to design and build the vertical drum planter.

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