NAIVASHA, Kenya, September 24, 2012: The Green Farming Water Management Demo Project was officially launched at Naivasha-based Van den Berg Roses on September 15th. This is an important step towards saving 40-60% of irrigation water while achieving a 10% increase in yields.
Kenyan Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Wageningen UR will monitor the project and present the results. This project was developed by a consortium consisting of Dutch suppliers to the horticultural industry. Bosman is in charge of project implementation from A to Z, Hoogendoorn supplied the automation, Hatenboer-Water provided the water disinfection system, Van der Knaap is the coco substrate supplier, Genap the water tanks, and DLV Plant is responsible for project administration and the final financial reports. The technology implemented offers potential for gradually achieving water savings and has been adapted to local Kenyan circumstances and needs. Small components of this project can also later be used by other Kenyan sites.
The official opening was attended by some 100 companies and officials from Kenya and the Netherlands, amongst them Harm Maters, Chairman of Green Farming; Jane Ngige, CEO of the Kenya Flower Council; Hans Wolff, Agricultural Counsellor at the Dutch Embassy in Nairobi, plus delegates from the Fresh Produce and Exporters Association Kenya and the Horticultural Crop Development Authority. Various speakers explained the aims of this project, amongst them Chris Blok of Wageningen UR.
Commenting on the new project a proud Arie van den Berg said, “This new project allows us to save 40-60% of irrigation water, and thus fertilizers. We expect this to achieve a 10% increase in yields, too – and who wouldn’t like that! ”
After the presentation, the project was officially opened when the ribbon was cut. This was followed by a tour through all the sections of this project, such as the substrate system, the water storage section, the water treatment section and the fertilizer unit. In the course of this project, set to run over 2 years, Green Farming will keep Kenyan companies and officials informed about all results achieved. The project can also be followed at www.greenfarming.nl