Innovation That Matters

Hydroponics allows farmers to produce a consistent and predictable yield | Photo source Joshua Lanzarini on Unsplash

A hydroponic farm made from recycled materials


A company is tackling both plastic waste and food insecurity with hydroponic systems made from recycled waste

Spotted: Uganda’s Hydroponic Farms is working to tackle two challenges at the same time – helping small-scale farmers to be more efficient, and reducing consumer plastic pollution. The company manufactures modern hydroponic farming equipment using post-consumer plastic waste. Their hydroponic systems are a unique combination of soil-free farming and Internet of Things technology.

Hydroponic Farms collects and recycles more than 12 different types of post-consumer plastic rubbish, and transforms it into polyvinyl chloride (PVCs) and acrylate-butadiene-styrene (ABS). These plastics are then transformed into pipes and other materials for the construction of hydroponics systems. 

The company says that hydroponics could also be an answer to food insecurity in the mainly rural country, and an excellent way to empower vulnerable farmers – especially women. Without the need to take weather into account, hydroponics allows farmers to produce a consistent and predictable yield. By equipping the systems with Internet of Things technology, the company allows users to automate irrigation and monitor crops remotely and in real-time, through a mobile phone application. This makes the system extremely easy to use.

The company told Springwise that they designed the Hydroponic Farm as, “a ground-breaking innovation that is now our flagship product. With this pioneering technology, we are able to make agriculture a viable micro-enterprise for communities and equally reduce on plastic waste.” They add that the system “enables farming on small spaces with up to 200 per cent yield increase, reduces water use by 90 per cent and saves hundreds of hours that could be used to monitor the farm.”

It is not only farmers that are taking an interest in hydroponics. At Springwise, we have seen growing interest in a wide number of uses for hydroponics growing systems. These have included an open-source project that aims to help people grow their own food at home and a huge vertical farm in Denmark.

Written By: Lisa Magloff

Explore more: Sustainability Innovations | Agriculture & Energy Innovations



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