Hydroponics – another sustainable agricultural concept

One of our goals for 2024: to set up a hydroponics facility with our long-standing partner Zachuas from the Inua Village Group in Ebukanga!

The past year 2023 started with a change for us, with two new faces on our Board. Since January, Stefan and Marie, both previously part of our technical team, have taken over the management of Thriving Green e. V. together with our long-standing board member Jens. We started the new year with a breath of fresh air, high motivation and lots of plans. And a lot has happened in the last 12 months! Thanks also to our new additions Niki and Phillip, who are supporting our operations team, we have been able to intensify our cooperation with our Kenyan partners. This has resulted in some promising ideas that we want to implement bit by bit!

One of these is the hydroponics project that we have planned with our long-standing partner Zachuas from the Inua Village Group in Ebukanga.

Hydroponics is a water-saving, innovative alternative to traditional soil-based agriculture. With a hydroponic system, no soil is required for cultivation, as all nutrients are fed directly to the roots of the plants via a closed, fertilized water circuit. This means that the nutrients can be adjusted individually, regardless of soil quality and climate.

Since Kenya, with its arid climate and highly variable soil quality, is a challenge for conventional agriculture, the hydroponic system offers a sustainable, alternative solution. The low water consumption and independence from fertile soils compared to conventional agriculture are aspects that are advantageous in water-scarce regions of Kenya.

Various models of hydroponic systems already exist. From nutrient film technology (NFT) systems and aeroponic systems to vertical and horizontal hydroponic systems, there are a variety of designs adapted to the respective conditions. In conventional hydroponic systems, the roots protrude directly into the fertilized water and thus obtain their nutrients. In aeroponics systems, on the other hand, aerosols are formed from nutrients and water that come into contact with the roots in a closed system.

For our project in Ebukanga, we are planning a horizontal hydroponic system that is suitable for growing different types of fruit and vegetables. We will first build some prototypes to test different ways of supplying nutrients and building up. We will then set up the first large hydroponics system with the most promising combination. In the long term, our plant will supply up to 100 local families with fresh food.

We are optimistic that, alongside the superfood spirulina, hydroponics represents another sustainable solution in the fight against hunger and malnutrition in Kenya.

We are excited to see how our project develops and will report on our progress here and on our social media channels!

Together we want to shape a greener and more sustainable future!

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