In an initiative being conducted in Kenya, Researchers from Wageningen have discovered a new innovative way of using less water when growing roses, nearly half the usual amount.
In collaboration with Dutch greenhouse builders, local partners and growers, the researchers have devised the new system which also improves rose yields by an impressive fifteen percent.
The ground-breaking water efficiency technique uses recycling methods and can be easily replicated to other rose growing zones around the world. The water is kept in humid-proof bags that protects against germs, in addition to a ground water treatment plant that is ready to use. This method has been proven to increase yields.
Different & Unique Conditions
There are several unique differences. In Kenya there is a longer dry season compared to the Netherlands; which means that larger wet basins are needed. These were some of the conclusions made by Chris Blok, researcher at Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture. With regards to the cost it doesn’t matter much because according to him land in Kenya is more flexible and allows one to dig deeper to reach groundwater.
Increase in cost is mainly incurred in the UV resistant foil film, which is necessary for the water basins. The relatively cheaper foil that is used in the Netherlands is not suitable for this stronger sunlight.
Chris Blok: "The method can be applied almost anywhere, but it calls for appropriate measures, that are dependent on several factors such as precipitation, evaporation, other water sources, susceptibility to disease, local knowledge and such like factors. In wet regions, (where there is much rain)as an example for treating water needed, but must nevertheless be taken with a basin to bridge. "The dry monsoon
Project leader Anne Elings cannot say much with regards to cost of the project thus far. "Just look at how limited the cost is. At this stage what is most relevant is that the business does not require a lot of money to invest in, which for us is a sign that the commercial feasibility of the project is viable. "
It is important that stakeholders in the region are convinced of the immense benefits of the new techniques. Researchers from Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture worked alongside students from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology who worked on data collection.
The partnership comes under the Green Farming program. Together they bought a 15,000m2 plot in the Naivasha area with rainwater collection and reuse of drainage water in the water saving research programme.