65% less water, 20% more stems, lower fertilizer costs

Kenya: Improved rose cultivation through better water management

During the Naivasha Horticultural Fair in Kenya the results of the first year of the Green Farming water management demonstration project were presented to the sector. The project aims to set an example for sustainable and efficient water management in Kenyan horticulture. Through this project Dutch and Kenyan partners wish to demonstrate that through the implementation of proper technology and management that are adjusted to local conditions, water and nutrient use in protected horticultural production systems can be reduced and product quantity and quality can be increased at the same time.

In September 2012 the demonstration project was put into practice in an existing greenhouse at a rose farm in Naivasha. The use of water and fertilizers, and production results of a cocopeat-based hydroponic system are compared with a soil reference.

During the seminar held at Naivasha Sports Club the project and its results so far were presented by the project partners, Mr. Martin Helmich of Hoogendoorn Growth Management and Mr. Anne Elings of Wageningen University and Research Centre. The data from January up till June 2013 show the following advantages of the hydroponic system:

• 65% less water use
• 20% more production in terms of produced number of stems
• 52% more production in terms of produced weight
• More stems of the length sizes of 70 and 80 centimeters
• 28% higher turnover
• Savings in fertilizer costs by re-use in the soil

The results thus show that with the hydroponic system impressive amounts of water can be saved, savings can be made in fertilizer use and at the same time production results are much better than for roses grown in the soil.

The project and its results so far are described in the Green Farming brochure “Improved rose cultivation through better water management” which was officially presented to the Chairman of the Kenya Flower Council and Imarisha Naivasha, Mr. Richard Fox by Green Farming Chairman Mr. Harm Maters.

The project is a cooperation between Dutch and Kenyan private sector parties and research partners and is supported by the Dutch Ministry for International Trade and Development Cooperation. The seminar at Naivasha Sports Club was facilitated by the Netherlands Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.

For more information please download the brochure from the website

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