Can closed substrate culture be an alternative for small-scale farmers?

Guel A., Engindeniz S. , AYKUT N.

8th International Symposium on Protected Cultivation in Mild Winter Climates, Aghadir, Morocco, 19 - 24 February 2006, pp.83-89 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Aghadir
  • Country: Morocco
  • Page Numbers: pp.83-89


Closed soilless culture systems have gained importance since they increase water and fertilizer use efficiency, and decrease environmental pollution; however, they require further monitoring of nutrient solution with regard to its elemental composition and potential for infection with pathogens. Automatic systems have been used for circulation of nutrient solution in large commercial firms. Besides, use of technology is limited at small-scale farmers' level. We carried out demonstration and training studies with regard to developing a simple closed system for small-scale farmers in Tahtah Dam preservation area in Izmir. Eight growers who had no experience on soilless culture participated in this project. These growers developed their own systems under the supervision of the staff of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs with the collaboration of Ege University. They used locally available volcanic tuff as growing medium. Data collected from the most successful grower from a yield point of view were analysed in this study to expose the economical aspect of soilless vegetable production under small growers' conditions. Average total net return for pilot greenhouse (980 m(2)) was calculated as US $ 2727 and 217 in cucumber and in lettuce productions, respectively. Annual net return (cucumber + lettuce) varied between US $ 2009 and 3390.