• Up in the air

    Up in the air

    If you thought vegetables could be grown only in the ground, think again. The future of farming in Africa could see food being cultivated in air, which actually enables three to five times faster growth than conventional soil, as well as an increase in crop yields by 45% to 75% – all while using up to 98% less water.

    As reported by Mail & Guardian Africa, Samson Ogbole – founder of Nigerian-based Sreach Aeroponics – says his organisation aims to train farmers how to build and maintain systems whereby plants can be grown in air. This means a variety of vegetables, including lettuce and tomatoes, can be grown without soil, as well as indoors. The system can also reduce fertiliser and pesticide usage by 95% and 99% respectively.

    How it works is simple: plant roots are mounted to a support platform and held in place at the stem with foam, leaving the root to hang below in an enclosed or semi-enclosed chamber. A pipe, which is connected to a pump and timer, provides nutrients.

    3 May 2016
    Image: iStockPhoto