Australia: Tomato grower looks overseas for Semi-Closed greenhouse

A tomato grower from Armidale, northern NSW, is taking a worldwide tour to research the use of semi-closed glasshouses in tomato production. Keshav Timalsena is a senior grower at the Guyra Tomato Exchange in the Northern Tablelands and recently won a Nuffield Scholarship. He says it's a chance to take his interest in sustainable production overseas. "It's a huge event for my life, I'm looking to bring some knowledge back to the local horticulture industry," he said.

"In the last two years in US and Europe, semi-closed glasshouses have been developed that produce a higher yield and minimise the input cost. There's a lot of opportunity to learn."

There are currently only two semi-closed glasshouses in the world, one each in France and USA, which Keshav plans to visit on his research trip next year.

He says semi-closed glasshouses don't need ventilation, instead a cooling system is used to keep temperature under control. "I've been working with conventional type glasshouses for the last 18 years, but for me this is very new," he said. "Since I haven't physically been in a semi-closed glasshouse I haven't seen all the benefits, so I'm going to work for two weeks in France to find out, and bring the information back home."

From March next year, Keshav will visit Brazil, Canada, Europe, USA and New Zealand as part of his 16-week tour.


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