When you’re in a hole, keep digging

Sunday December 15, 2019 Written by Published in Hot on the Rock
John Engu holds up his two planting hole makers. 19120648 John Engu holds up his two planting hole makers. 19120648

Innovative new stainless steel pao pipe runs water down the middle, to make planting quicker.


Planting taro isn’t easy. It can be a two-person job where holes are dug into the mud with a wooden pao or stick while the other person uses a hose to rinse off the mud so it doesn’t get stuck.

John Engu who is a steel worker by trade, invented a product stronger and more efficient than the pao to make digging holes and planting taro easier.

It’s taken him six years to design the planting hole maker, which is now a registered and protected design.

The planting hole maker works in two ways.

Its stainless steel form is light enough to use it to dig, and a hose can be attached to it and the pressure can be adjusted. It spreads water around it and so while digging it cannot get stuck in the mud. It can also be used to dilute fertilizer or manure.

“Because its stainless steel. It’s everlasting and you don’t have to cut down a tree and make a new pao every time.”

Engu believes his innovative design will encourage more people to plant and increase the amount of local people working in agriculture and producing crops.

There has been a lot of interest in Engu’s product which will hit the floors of the CITC building centre for sale in the next week.

Engu has created two sizes of the planting hole maker. One has a diameter of 100mm and the other has a diameter of 125mm. But Engu is happy to make some customised to individual customers’ requirements.

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