An Egyptian farmer claims he has found a way of farming that uses 90 per cent less water than traditional methods, with better yields. Amr Bassiouny, the chief executive of Egyptian Hydrofarms, is successfully growing salad greens near Cairo based on hydroponics technology.
The success is important to Egypt and other African countries with scarce water resources. In short, hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, the method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Mail&Guardian Africa reports that Bassiouny places his plants in pipes through which water and nutrients are pumped.
Hydroponics is believed to have been used as far back as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Others say that hydroponics has been around since the time of the Pharaohs. The technology is attractive for Egypt and other Northern African countries, that are arid and unsuitable for traditional farming.
Egyptian Hydrofarms admits that the concept hydroponics is not new. “It’s been around since the time of the Pharaohs ... All we did was take this idea and added technology, efficiency and productivity.”
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