Presentation on theme: "Hydroponic Green Farming Initiative HGFI 2013 -2014."— Presentation transcript:
Hydroponic Green Farming Initiative HGFI
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.Reduces soil problems effect II.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.
Highlands and desert Jordan Valley
Demonstration sites Year 1 Zarqa Amman Irbed Madaba
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 works2 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 worksIncomplete cycle
Madaba HH site I.Cherry tomato, bell pepper and tomato production II.Crushed volcanic rocks (Tuff) media III.Top feeding hydroponic system IV.Very high quality produce V.Marketing constraints affected the produce prices and resulted in higher costs than revenues VI.Demonstration was stopped upon HH owner request
Installation worksProduction phase
Amman Site I.Drip (top feeding) hydroponic system II.2 GH to produce tomato and bell pepper III.Tuff media IV.Problems in the fertigation process V.High quality and low quantity produce VI.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.Higher density plantations II.Water circulation to save water and other inputs III.Producing during off seasons IV. 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.Produce prices are much higher, investment payback is guaranteed II.Fully controlled GH’s are very expensive (initial and operational costs) V. 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.Address challenges the project faced during year 1 II.Introduce new fertigation and circulation techniques III.Increase the demonstration sites to cover more areas IV.Deep and careful crop selection V.Linking producers with market channels VI.Linking producers with financing schemes to overcome the initial cost obstacle.