Hydroponics is an increasingly popular method for growing plants without soil. The plants’ roots are growing either in mineral solutions containing a lot of nutrients, often from fish waste or duck manure, or in other medium such as gravel.
This technology has recently been tested by the organisation Fresh Studio and its partners in Vietnam, showing encouraging results. As part of their project “Accelerating the development of a modern greenhouse vegetable production sector in Vietnam”, they successfully grew lettuce on a hydroponics system at their Research & Development Farm in Lam Dong province. Vegetable farmers in the province face two main challenges: in the rainy season, lettuce is vulnerable to diseases, while in the dry season, farmers often lack sufficient irrigation water to grow their lettuce. Thanks to hydroponics, farmers are able to harvest up to 14 rounds of lettuce in the same area, greatly improving the productivity per square meter, while disease pressure is reduced due to very hygienic growing conditions. As Fresh studio underlines on its website: “compared to growing lettuce in the soil, the amount of water needed to produce the same volume of lettuce with the hydroponic production is estimated to be > 75% lower.”
Over the past years, a small number of Vietnamese farmers have turned to hydroponics to grow vegetables. Although this technology is not yet widespread in the country, the first results are very promising.