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Argentina: San Juan first on the market with hydroponic vegetables

The sales of the first fresh hydroponic lettuce in greenhouses has already started. Aguafertil, a firm based in Pocito, has set the goal to produce 5,000 crops per week.

"Our main objective, when the endeavor was put in motion, was to enter the agricultural sector, but through an innovative method. This is why we decided to offer consumers this very healthy alternative," explained Alejandro Guzmán, one of Aguafértil's partners together with Eduardo Manzano and Marcos Guzmán.

He explained that the first cultivation stage was programmed to obtain around 5,000 lettuces weekly.

"We observed that this system allowed us to obtain larger production volumes from a smaller acreage, with lower water consumption and a great quality product, which unlike the one grown with traditional methods, remains always hydrated, with plants that do not lose leaves or show signs of aging. The product remains hydrated at home after it is purchased due to its natural roots."

In the first stage, as a test, they grew their own seedlings, obtaining an excellent plant, but this made things more difficult and they decided to order the seedlings, looking for varieties that would adapt to this type of plantation.

They started with butter lettuce of three different brands, and they continued with green and purple curly ones.

The plantation's density is of 15 plants per square meter, with a distance between them of 20 cm.

The time it took for the lettuce to be ready for selling was 35 days. 

The advantage of this system is that it results in clean, pesticide-free products that produce no waste, remain fresh for much longer, are packed with the root and are tastier and healthier. 

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