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Hydroponics for export

HydroponicsjackSmallIn Northern Europe, mainly in the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Northern Germany, the consumer pays more to have healthy horticultural quality - a niche that Portugal could explore better.

We have few good examples in Portugal. Horta d'Agua sells live vegetables with roots fed with natural products. It combines state-of-the-art technology with good agricultural practices and sells ten types of green and purple lettuce, including lollo rosso, lixa roxa and smooth as well as chard, greens, watercress and aromatic herbs such as basil, mint and arugula.

Hydroponics reduces water use, preserves soil and balances the environment. The plants enjoy the sun and natural light; greenhouses protect crops. The vegetable garden is ergonomic, suspended above the ground outside the reach of crawling insects.  The soil is covered with a screen that prevents weeds.

Water and nutrients circulate in the gardens and is always available for the plants; it is recycled. The plants absorb only what is necessary and the rest circulates.  There is no waste, and any organic waste is used for animal feed.

Of the energy consumed, 80% comes from renewable sources. The production is certified, B2B, Global GAP and HALAL. The latter is for use in Islamic restaurants and homes, commanding good prices.

Vegetables, because they have roots and are not cut in the harvest, maintain their freshness, aroma and flavour until they are eaten, also, they last longer. Just keep the roots moist. It is the natural way of consuming vegetables.

"Despite huge export potential, there are few technological farmers who receive support from programmes such as 2020.

Units like this could total around  €200 million per year in exports"

Unwashed, packed immediately after harvest, without the stress of industrial washing, the plants maintain their organoleptic* characteristics until the moment of consumption.

Horta d'Agua focuses on healthy food, sustainability, nutrition and environmental resource management. It carries out actions with schools to spread this mode of natural and technological agriculture.

Despite the immense export potential, technological farmers are rarely supported by programmess such as 2020. Units such as these could total around €200 million per year in exports. The Algarve and Alentejo regions could be the main exporters.

 

HydroponicsjackBIG

 

*Organoleptic properties are the aspects of food, water or other substances that an individual experiences via the senses - including taste, sight, smell, and touch. 

 

See also: https://hortadagua.pt/

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