Water and innovation, keys to sustainable agriculture with hydroponic crops

On the occasion of World Water Day on March 22nd, our monthly iFriday revolved around the importance of this essential substance.  

Despite the fact that all social and economic activities are highly dependent on fresh water supply and its quality, 2.2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water. 

To raise awareness about the global water crisis and the need to seek action, we had a chat with Antonio Oliva, director of R&D of New Growing System, a company from Almería.

This company has great spirit for innovation and focuses its efforts on the creation and development of a cultivation system that optimizes the scarcity of water resources.

The goal of this company from Almería is focused developing new growing technologies that answer to the needs of intensive agriculture in arid and semi-arid regions of the planet. NGS is formed by a multidisciplinary team with extensive experience in the industry and, since its inception, they have carried out more than 1,000 projects in more than 20 countries. “With this system we sought to take advantage of the soil by offering complete control over crop management, such as advantages in terms of savings, productivity, quality, and usefulness,” Oliva explains. 



New ways of cultivation

In hydroponic environments, plants complete their vegetative cycle without the need to use the soil. The crops are watered and receive partial or full mineral nutrition through a solution that includes the different essential nutrients for their development.

The future of modern agriculture requires the optimal use of one of its most limited and important resources: water. It is essential that agriculture soon adopts cultivation methods that optimize water use to the maximum, and this is achieved thanks to hydroponic crops.

Some advantages of NGS are that it is a clean, sustainable, and fully recyclable technology or healthier crops, with less need for pesticides” said the R&D director. 



Conventional vs hydroponic crops  

For plants, soil acts as the fundamental means of support. Thanks to the system developed by NGS, the needs of the plant are covered in a more specific way than if the cultivation is carried out in a traditional way.  

“What we do is give the crops what they need. We can provide the plant with exactly the same thing it needs from the soil, only in the NGS system it has everything it needs and that means getting more flavor because we can perform a water analysis and use a circular recycling system," Oliva argued. 

Lastly, the guest encouraged companies from this industry to use these systems that may seem expensive at first but are profitable in the short term. "By implementing this system, the profit margin can be achieved in months, depending on the product,” he concluded.

  • New technologies
  • Crops

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