"Developing hydroponic systems for vegetables sown at high density”
Hydroponics, cultivating crops on water, has great potential to produce high-quality crops with reduced environmental impact. It offers many advantages over traditional cultivation in the soil. The benefits of hydroponics are (1) increased productivity, (2) efficient management of crop cultivation while controlling diseases that influence yield and revenue and (3) improved logistic efficiency.
More than 90% of greenhouse cultivation of fruit vegetables has shifted to hydroponics; leafy vegetables grown at low plant density (e.g. lettuce) are starting to implement systems. However, no straightforward solutions are available for vegetable crops traditionally densely sown in rows in the field.
The overall objective is to develop a soil-free cultivation system to grow densely sown crops (such as lamb’s lettuce, watercress, spinach or rocket). This technological innovation will enable produ-cers throughout the program area to address the challenges they currently face regarding efficient management of crop cultivation and capacity to deal with diseases that reduce yield/quality and revenue.
The system will provide for an environmentally and economically viable cultivation, sustainable for producers and more aesthetically and hygienically acceptable to consumers.
Within this project Howest IDC plays an important role throughout the design process: from the fuzzy front-end and creativity sessions with the different stakeholders, to small scale prototyping, and from the design of the base infrastructure to the final installment of a pilot.
INTERREG 2 SEAS - Hy4Dense
01/02/2019 - 30/09/2022
# prototyping & technology materialisation