South Africa depends on the agriculture sector as the largest producer of food and driver of economic growth; however it is also the largest user of our scarce water resources. The use of NFT Hydroponic Growing Systems is fast-growing in agriculture as the best way to overcome critical food and water shortages by offering a quicker, healthier, more sustainable method of food production.
What is NFT Hydroponics?
NFT Hydroponics (loosely translated as “working-water”) is a method of growing produce using a flow of mineral nutrient water solutions instead of soil. The soilless nature of the system means that high-quality crops can be grown in any climate and in shorter times, providing a more reliable, predictable, eco-friendly and safe alternative to traditional crop systems.
Growing hydroponically offers significant advantages, both for the environment and for farmers as well as for consumers:
- Not dependent on seasonal activity: Not affected by drought, flood and other climate-related issues
- Reduced water usage: Compared to soil-based systems
- No pesticides or herbicides: Pests and soil diseases and weeds can be better controlled without the use of harsh chemicals
- Hydroponic nutrients are recyclable: waste water containing valuable water and nutrients can be collected, filtered, treated and recycled
- Growing time is lessened: Accelerated growth due to correct balance of nutrients, water and oxygen
- Automated systems: UV sensors allow for faster crop turnover and reduced labour
- Healthier produce: Better control of environment significantly reduces plant stress and provides for a very healthy crop
Marley Hydroponic Profiles
Marley manufactures a range of UV stabilised, food graded PVC pressure pipes ideally suited to hydroponic growing applications, backed by a range of complementary fittings to complete the system.
Pipe Specification: 100mm (w) x 50mm (h)
Features & Benefits
- Long lengths available: Pipe lengths range from 1.5m up to 12m lengths
- Full solution: Supplied with stop end moulded fittings to complete the system
- Food graded PVC: Qualified by SABS suitable for food use
- Tried and tested: Used by some of the largest lettuce suppliers in South Africa
The NFT Hydroponic Process