Hydroponics and high-value agricultural production, Mr

Report
Hydroponic Green Farming Initiative
HGFI
2013 -2014
• HGFI is a three year project funded by USAID with
the following objectives:
− Introducing hydroponic “soilless” culture as an alternative to
traditional farming systems.
− Introducing this new technique to produce high value crops.
− Introducing Photovoltaic systems as alternatives to electricity
and fossil fuel as energy sources for hydroponic farming.
− Working on commercial and Household levels.
− Train farmers and HH members on soilless culture.
− Disseminate the concept through the different outreach
activities.
Project findings through year 1
For hydroponic farming
I.
With the water crisis in Jordan, such techniques would
minimize the water consumption and maximize the
productivity of certain crops.
II.
Very few farmers are adopting hydroponic technique.
Mainly strawberry farmers are the pioneers…..why?
I.
II.
Reduces soil problems effect
Increases land use efficiency (more than one layer)
III. Vegetables’ farmers are looking forward to start
hydroponic, but !!??
- High capital investment vs marketing and export.
- know how and local technical support availabitiy !!!
IV. Water quality in some areas affecting the adopting of
hydroponic farming where very good qualities are
needed for successful hydroponic farming.
V. Marketing obstacles and unstable regional condition
affect the Ag sector negatively.
For PV use
I.
Energy needs are still limited (irrigation pumps only).
II. High initial costs of the PV systems in large scale farms
for other purposes like cooling and storage.
III. climatic zones in Jordan are encouraging farmers to
select different zones for continuous production
benefiting from the natural warm/cool weather.
Jordan Valley
Highlands
and desert
Demonstration sites Year 1
Irbed
Madaba
Zarqa
Amman
Irbed Bani Kananeh site
- Thyme production
- Crushed volcanic rocks media
- Drip (top Feeding) hydroponic system
- Higher planting density
- Better production
- Cleaner plants
- Lower input costs (JD/Kg)
- Final cost/benefit analysis to be introduced by the end of
the season.
Installation works
2 months after planting
Zarqa site
 Lettuce production
 Raft hydroponic system
 Higher planting density
 Better production
 Cleaner plants
 Lower inputs costs (JD/Kg)
 Problems in early bolting to be addressed in the
current cycle
 Final cost/benefit analysis to be introduced by the
end of the season.
Installation works
Incomplete cycle
Madaba HH site
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
Cherry tomato, bell pepper and tomato production
Crushed volcanic rocks (Tuff) media
Top feeding hydroponic system
Very high quality produce
Marketing constraints affected the produce prices and
resulted in higher costs than revenues
VI. Demonstration was stopped upon HH owner request
Installation works
Production phase
Amman Site
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
Drip (top feeding) hydroponic system
2 GH to produce tomato and bell pepper
Tuff media
Problems in the fertigation process
High quality and low quantity produce
Crops selected for this site were unable to
compete with traditional farming systems
Installation works
Production phase
Lessons learned from Year 1
I.
Hydroponic farming is a high capital production
system
II. Added value is the driving force for adopting
hydroponics, such as
I.
II.
III.
IV.
Higher density plantations
Water circulation to save water and other inputs
Producing during off seasons
Higher quality and higher profit
III. Technical assistance and support is needed.
IV. International experiments might not be applicable
locally due to immature hydroponic farming supply
chain, in addition to
I.
II.
V.
Produce prices are much higher, investment payback is
guaranteed
Fully controlled GH’s are very expensive (initial and
operational costs)
Soil plantations in Jordan are performing very well
(quality and quantity) and highly competes
hydroponically produced vegetables
VI. PV is the future of energy, high initial cost works as
a barrier for cooling/heating even for large investors
Way forward
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
Address challenges the project faced during year 1
Introduce new fertigation and circulation techniques
Increase the demonstration sites to cover more areas
Deep and careful crop selection
Linking producers with market channels
Linking producers with financing schemes to
overcome the initial cost obstacle.
Thank you
Laith Al-Waked
ECO Consult
2014

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