SWAKOPMUND - Desert and coastal agricultural researcher at the University of Namibia (Unam)’s Henties Bay campus Allan Mupambwa says that hydroponic could play a key role both in large scale gardening as well as urban gardening at the coast.
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil by using only nutrients and water. Structure can be built from unwanted wood or one can use large plastic containers and glass bottles as it only needs to hold water and nutrients for plants.
The method preserves water and it allows plants or vegetables to grow much faster and also do not take up much space to grow vegetables.
Mupambwa says there is potential for agriculture in the Namib Desert especially with innovative ways such as hydroponics and greenhouse gardening.
He says these methods can aid families, especially in rural areas also to grow their own vegetables instead of buying them.
“The coastal campus is researching technologies that can be applied at the coast for crop production in terms of vegetables such as spinach, tomatoes and pepper that can work in our settlements as well.”
“These vegetables are possible to produce using hydroponics especially in our desert climate. Hydroponics allows crops to absorb nutrients while planting it in the soil usually results in nutrients getting lost due to our soil components at the coast,” he explained.
According to him, crop production is very challenging in the desert conditions hence, hydropnonics and greenhouse gardening is effective at the coast. “The greenhouse garden is commercially expensive but it is our job to see how we can make things accessible and adaptable to our people without high costs,” he said.
Mupambwa says the university is also busy researching on organic nutrients as an alternative to the more expensive nutrients that are currently in the market that can be very handy in crop production.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-05-22 08:31:01 4 months ago