Worldwide one of the main challenges in horticultural industry is water scarcity and low water quality. Although very successful in the Netherlands, the Dutch supply industry face problems to integrate these water technical solutions in the international setting where water problems are even much more severe.
To support the Dutch supply industry in convincing international growers to invest in water technical solutions, Wageningen University & Research BU Greenhouse Horticulture has started in May 2017 a water and fertilizer saving project which is funded by the Top Sector Horticulture and Staring materials Seed Money Project.
Water and fertilizer savings
The aim of this project is to make local people aware of possible water and fertilizer savings by integrating Dutch water technical solutions. As a case study suggestions how to improve the water and fertilizer efficiency for 5 different Mexican companies - ranging from soil grown produce in shadehouses till high-tech hydroponics produce- will be proposed. With the support of 5 Mexican production companies, the Mexican protected horticultural association (AMHPAC) and the supply industry as represented by Cultilene, Van der Knaap, Yara, Ridder – HortiMaX, Planta Nova, Netafim and Aqua 4D the project results will be generated.
In the coming months the project results will be discussed with the Dutch supply industry and the Mexican growers. In November the project results will be presented in Mexico during the Agrifood Expo Guanajuato, in Mexico.
Seed Money project
The long term aim of this research topic is to develop a tool to optimize the water and fertilizer resource efficiency for all kind of horticultural projects for different locations on earth. This tool will support the Dutch Horticultural Supply industry to convince local growers that it is financial attractive to invest in water technical solutions. This Seed Money Project will act as an accelerator to find additional funds to develop this water and fertilization saving tool.