Greenhouse Production Installed with Smart Hydroponics System.
Precision Farming Using Greenhouse-Hydroponics Systems
In the recent past, climate change and its associated impacts have become a major threat to agriculture production. Tropical countries such as Uganda are among the nations that have been negatively affected by the climate extremities. In the attempt to remedy the situation to meet the most fundamental SDGs especially those relating to malnutrition, poverty, and the environment (SDG1,2,5, etc.), a lot of innovations have been adopted. Though most of the innovations and interventions have enable climate change adaptability and resilience, they have not addressed the real challenge posed by the ever-changing climatic conditions and production seasons. In nations such as South Korea, the “White Revolution” enable farming to take a different trajectory, one that was not limited by the four seasons of nature, advances in Greenhouse technologies have facilitated a year-round production of vegetables and consequently contributed to the overall national nutrition, health, income and rural development.
This entails soil-less production of crops within a protected environment. The plant nutrients are delivered to the crops in a precision manner avoiding pollution to the environment and thus reducing accumulation of greenhouse gases due to excessive use of fertilizers. The system:
- Is independent of weather patterns/ seasons and thus a climate change adaptation and resilience strategy. Hydroponics greenhouse utilized locally available materials such as growth substrates.
- It gives 80% increase in yield compared to using conventional production, assuring high return on investment.
- Offers efficient use of resources like water and fertilizer (saves 95% of the resources).
Precision agriculture (PA) is a farming management concept based on observing, measuring, and responding to inter and intra-field variability in crops with an aim of defining decision support systems (DSS) for whole farm management to optimize production: Among the many approaches of PA, Site Specific Crop Management (CSCM) under which we are practicing our SMART Greenhouse Hydroponics System is a major contributor to high quality horticulture products at farm level.
Through our extensive research and continuous works with farming communities, and the overall consultations and expertise in the field of agriculture, the growing gap is implied in every agro-based economy we know. According to researchers through FAO publications, our ability to sustainably feed the ever-growing population is greatly challenged by the very farming systems we have created. Over the years, they have depleted/ exhausted most of the land resources and degraded the environment so significantly that they cannot support farming in an almost natural manner. We therefore believe that any interventions and innovations that are aimed at providing a solution or an alternation to the aforementioned situation offer a great leap in any farming system that to be developed.