Consultants in: Hydroponics Fodder and vegetables Growing in Kenya,Uganda and Tanzania. Manufacturing of Animal Feeds and NPK Fertilizers,
HYDROPONICS FARMING IS FINALLY NOW IN KENYA, UGANDA, TANZANIA and soon to Rwanda.
HYDROPONICS FODDER PRODUCTION
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants are grown with roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as fertile, gravel, vermeculate or cocoa pit.
Plants absorb essential mineral nutrients as inorganic ions in water. In natural conditions soil act as a mineral reservoir but the soil itself is not essential to plant growth. When the required mineral nutrients are introduced into plants water supply artificially, soil is no longer required for the plant to thrive.
Hydroponics spouting for animals is popular all over the world with farmers, ranchers, horsemen and zoos. It is a compact, simple, and cheap way to produce high quality green forage for farm animals. A space 20 feet long and 10 feet high can turn out 500KG of greens every day all year around. Any kind of grass or cereal grains can be sprouted – oats, barley wheat, alfalfa, etc. the nutrient solution increases the food value of the final product. It takes about five to eight days to grow from seed to an 8 inch mat of grass, packed with vitamins and minerals.
Our hydroponic system for sprouting grains is permanent, reliable ,water wise and fertilizer wise
This unique hydroponics system uses an intensive method of growing hydroponics sprouting barley from seed to feed within 8 full days.
Our hydroponic system will work anywhere water is available and can produce large amount of sprouting fodder everyday, all year round. It is available as a standard model or can be an individually designed hydroponics fodder feed barley growing rooms in various sizes. In our system a selection of grain seeds is spread into the growing trays and watered with nutrients using nutrient film techniques (NFT) to provide water and nutrient at predetermined intervals to the grain roots and leaf.
Hydroponics: The nutrients
The feeding of plants is the heart of hydroponics feeding plants well and with personal attention is what makes your fodder superior to almost any other produce. The subject of nutrients is both the easiest and the hardest part to hydroponics gardening. It is easy because we have good quality commercial modified nutrient mix suitable for your needs, which you can buy.
Our specially designed nutrient is branded hydropeter and it has been specifically developed for growing high volumes of sprouting fodder within a full 7 day cycle. The formula that makes up our hydropeter nutrients is a closely guarded secret! Hydroponics nutrient comes in two parts, all you need to do is to mix together depending with the fodder you are sprouting in with clean water, then feed and water your fodder at the same time.
The rapid, year-round production of fresh green feed is the main advantage of this hydroponics fodder system. The green feed is highly palatable and both ruminants and monogastrics have greatly benefited from the introduction of the freshly grown, nutritious green feed in their daily diet.
In terms of protein and energy, the contribution of green feed to the animal’s ration is tremendous. It is rich in vitamins, minerals and growth factors. Growth factors are protein molecules that are normally present in minute amounts in the animal’s bones, muscles, fat and most other tissues. There are several types of growth factors and their generic function is to induce mitosis (cell growth) in tissues.
In many natural grass species, the protein content is relatively low and growth factors are not present in veld grass. Rich sources of growth factors include green feed, lucerne meal, fish soluble and milk; however, the best sources are those that are fresh and unprocessed. The occurrence of respiratory conditions is greatly reduced, because the green, hydroponics fodder feed is dust-free.
Because it is grown naturally, there are no antibiotics, artificial hormones, pesticides or herbicides in the hydroponics fodder feed. The cause of most digestive and metabolic problems in ruminants is a grain-based diet. These problems can be solved by completely removing grain from the diet and feeding barley/oats/wheat fodder feed instead. In areas with poor or no grazing where farmers are heavily dependent on the rainfall, hydroponics fodder feed production is an attractive, profitable and financially viable alternative.
SOLUTION FOR HIGH COST OF LIVESTOCK FEEDS
“Growing nutritious yet cost effective fodder in 8 days”
Change in climatic conditions, increasing population and shortage in agricultural land, has made it very difficult for farmers to grow ample amount of fodder for their livestock. Cultivating forage has become of secondary importance in comparison to production of grains, fruits, and vegetables. Forage growers word-wide are seeking solution to these problems and hydroponics is the perfect answer.
We are having high grade livestock but the feeds are expensive. It is like having a plane but with the wrong fuel to propel it. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrients solutions, in water, without soil. Plants absorb essential mineral nutrients as inorganic ions in water .when the required mineral nutrients are introduced into plants water supply artificially. Soil is no longer required for the plant to thrive.
Hydroponics fodder production is popular in many countries with farmers. It is compact simple and cheap way to produce high quality green forage for farm animals. A space 20 feet long and 10 feet high can turn out 1 tonne of greens everyday all year around.
Any kind of grass or cereal grains can be sprouted oats, barley, wheat, alfalfa e.t.c. The nutrient solution increases the food value of the final product. It takes about 6 to 8 days to grow from seed to an 8 inch mat of grass, packed with vitamins and minerals.
The fodder solution is hydroponically growing room that is specifically developed to sprout grains and legume seeds that are very nutritious yet cost effective livestock feeds. A selection of seeds on
trays are watered at predetermined intervals at set temperatures inside the chamber to ensure best growth and higher nutritional value possible each day you simply slide the feed out of the trays, raise the trays and reseed. The warm weather eliminates heating costs in Africa and there is significant water saving as there is no leaching and only requires topping up from time to time.
The rapid, year-around production of fresh green feed is the main advantage of hydroponics system. It is also simple and reliable. It can be set anywhere water is available. The green feed is highly palatable and both ruminants and monongastics have greatly benefited from the introduction of the freshly grown nutritious green feed in their diet. In terms of protein and energy, the contribution of green feed to the animal’s ratio is tremendous. It is rich in vitamins, minerals and growth promoters. In many natural grass species, the protein content is relatively low and growth factors are not present. Because the hydroponics folder is grown naturally there are no antibiotics, hormones, pesticides or herbicides.
The cause of most digestive and metabolic problems in ruminants is grain-based diet. These problems can be solved by completely removing grain from the diet and feeding barley/oats green feed instead. In areas with poor or no glazing where farmers are highly dependant on the rainfall, hydroponics fodder feed production is an attractive, profitable and financially viable alternative. Our recommendation is to produce barley/oats green feed hydroponically because it is less expensive and highly nutritious.
Convectional production of fodder uses 90% more water as compared to hydroponic fodder production. This means that the farmer attains maximum green feed production with minimal water usage.
Hydroponics fodder in a 6m x 9m grow room is equivalent to the green feed production on 480 ha of land. Due to small area of land required to practice hydroponics, the value of marginal land is enhanced. Rotar (2004) states that the substantial quantities of green feed that can be produced on a small area are largely beneficial in densely populated regions where growing space is lacking. These areas include countries like Africa where the areas used for conventional green feed production can rather be used for food crop production.
With hydroponics, the long term storage of feeds associated with decrease in nutritional value is something of the past. The hydroponics system allows for control over the grass growth, which is virtually impossible with conventional farming, guaranteed of a steady supply of high-quality green feed all year round, gives farmers using hydroponics methods a great advantage over other farmers, because firstly they do not have to sell stock when other farmers have to sell due to feed shortages. Secondly they sell superior quantity stock and will get prime prices for their livestock.
As little as 2 hours of labor per day is required, depending on the size of the grow room. In manual systems, all you have to do is remove the green feed mat, rinse the tray and reseed. The hydroponics production of green feed is highly cost effective and financially viable. At R O.42 per kg, a ton will be produced for R 0.500.
Completely elimination dairy meal and mineral supplements in cattle the only addition feed you will need is 10% of some roughage. The cost of producing hydroponics fodder does not even come close to the cost to produce paddock – grown green feed. To grow green feed conventionally, the farmer needs to incur costs towards buying insecticides, fertilizers and paying laborers to cultivate and harvest. When feeding a cow the cost to finish it over a period of two or three months in the feed rot will be 7.7 times less than to feed the same cow on a grain-based diet. A farmer using hydroponics fodder can for example, sell 100 cattle up to three times per year; as opposed to the conventional farmer who can only sell his 100 cattle once a year. The importance of good – quality feed is reinforced by the fact that between 60% and 75% livestock ailments result from their feed.
Hydroponics fodder is highly nutritious, highly palatable, high – quality green feed. Barley/oats green feed is:-
· Rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes and growth factors.
· 80% to 85% digestive (unlike the mere 30% digestibility of un-sprouted barley/oats) (Abdullah, 2001).
· High in good quality protein (21% vs. the 15% present in grains) (Hiller & Perry, 1969).
· Energy dense (12mj digestible energy) (Hiller and Perry, 1969) and
· High in moisture (prevents occurrence of colic).
(Ryan 200) states that 1kg of green feed is nutritionally equivalent to 3kg of Lucerne. According to (Gati 2002) the protein content of oats increased from 8% as a grain to 21% as eight-day-old green feed. (Williams 2000) argues that the germination of barley/oats seeds activates certain enzymes that change the starch, protein and fats in the grain into simpler forms in the plant; for example, starch is changed into soluble sugars, which are generally better utilized in the rumen. The digestible fiber content of the green feed rises from 4.2% in grain to 9%.
Fodder Nutritional Analysis
Table 1. Shows the nutritional analysis of the barley fodder
Benefits of hydroponically grown fodder to livestock
· Highly palatable and nutritious
· Reduces feed costs
· Improves general fertility, conception rates
· Increases digestibility of nutrients
· Improves general animal health
· Increases new born survival rages
· Has alkalizing effect on the body (Shipard, 2005).
Feeding hydroponic fodder to beef cattle
· The carcass quality is greatly improved.
· Average dairy weight gain 1.7 kg.
· To attain weight grain of 1.7 kg in grain fed cattle, large amounts of grains is required which can cause metabolic and digestive problems also most of grains is not utilized and pass through the animal undigested.
Feeding hydroponic fodder to dairy
The milk yield is improved up to 25% increase.
· The butter fat content is raised.
· Quality of milk improved
· Cows becomes healthy
· The time of birch to weaning improved.
· Increase in appetite.
Feeding hydroponics fodder to sheep and goats
· The carcass quality is greatly improved.
· There is improved weight gain at finish feeding.
· Sheep gain daily average of 0.083 kg vs 0.053kg when fed a feed lot ratio over six months (fayed, 2011)
· Pigs and chickens are mostly raised with high stocking density, and also show vast improvements in health and digestion.
· The enzymes in barley/oats green feed reduce the passing of “Sticky dropping” in chickens. Therefore the eggs that are laid are cleaner.
· An increase of up to 40% in egg protein is evident.
· Hydroponic fodder helps to eliminate cannibalism among chicken, because there are no deficiencies in their diet.
· Swine production is enhanced by the rich enzyme content of the barley/oats green feed and is particularly beneficial to weaner aiding in a stressful transition from sows milk to solid food.
We are working with grassroots movements in rural and urban Kenya to educate and help build simple and sustainable hydroponics system is cheap especially for in areas where temperature ranges from 170c to 240c because there will be no additional costs of heating or cooling. All one needs is a growing chamber, trays, hydroponic nutrient solution and clean water. A space of 5m x 2.5 m can sprout fodder enough to feed 16 mature cows or 113 goats/sheep all year around.
These hydroponics systems provide a viable option for farmers seeking to grow fodder for livestock, vegetables or flowers. We have customized books on how to grow and feed hydroponics fodder. Contact us for more information on how to grow and feed livestock..
When the required mineral nutrients are introduced into a plant and water supplied artificially, soil is no longer required for the plants to thrive. Almost any terrestrial plant can grow like this. This method of growing plants using mineral nutrients solution in water, without soil is known as hydroponics. Hydroponics fodder system is a temperature controlled room for growing nutritious fodder yet cost effective livestock feed in just 7 days. It uses 80% less water and nutrients since water is fully recycled and 30% less land as compared to conventional methods of farming. The current cost of installation of hydroponic fodder system worldwide is very expensive because of the need to maintain temperatures of 210c and relative humidity of 40% - 70% inside the system which requires use of cooling system coupled with running costs of electricity. Our innovation involves use chemically treated trays so that fodder can grow in higher temperature of up to 28 without having incidents of fungus. We have also reduced operating costs by using natural sunlight for photosynthesis. Through our innovation we have been able to reduce the cost of installation of hydroponics fodder system by over 90%. A hydroponic vegetable system measuring 5m x 4m can produce 2kg of fresh food everyday for feeding 4-6 members of a family at a cost of 90 USD. Our mission is to take hydroponics as a technology, to every household by reducing barriers to entry for all.
It is clear that our current model of agriculture cannot be sustained. We need a smarter approach to farming – one where less land is used, and where water is conserved and re-cycled at every point of use. Hydroponics system is the most efficient method of both fodder and food crop cultivation in the world because they:-
· Use 1/10 of the water – no water is lost through evaporation.
· Use fraction of minerals.
· Use 1/3 to ¼ of the space that traditional agriculture uses.
· Hydroponics fodder grows within 7 days and food crops 30% faster.
· Have little or no waste to contaminate environment.
While hydroponic technology has usually centered on complex mechanical air conditioning to maintain a temperature of 22+/-2 c and they used large numbers of fluorescent tubes for photosynthesis with irregular electricity supplies fodder could not be produced on a regular basis. Capital costs of these devices are uneconomical to produce fodder. Our simplified hydroponics system doesn’t use any mechanical devices or energy other than human labor.
We have installed 300 hydroponics fodder systems and 38 hydroponics vegetable units here in Kenya and Uganda. A farmer in Central Kenya has reported a saving of 529 US Dollar from his 30 heads of dairy cows after feeding the cows with hydroponically grow fodder. Pig farmers are saving 28 US Dollars per pig from weaning to selling. From the profits we have being able buy a 5 acres of land where we are starting Simplified and Commercial Hydroponics Training Institute.
Hydroponics fodder matt ready for harvesting at 7th day after planting.
Follow the following links from our hydroponics farm
4. Why did you start this initiative?
I started hydroponics production because I felt hydroponics is the way to rescue agriculture because it addresses all the challenges that affects agriculture in the world that is water scarcity and lack of land for cultivation.
My initiative is not new but we have modified it so that it can be used by almost every household.
Social, economic and environmental benefits
6. Who benefits from this initiative? Youth Women Children Others
Youth and women benefit from this initiative
7. How do they benefit?
Hydroponics technology will benefit youths and women
Hydroponics is a technology that can be embraced by anyone irrespective of age, gender, religion or social standings and for women and youths out there; hydroponics is a venture to go for. Food; agriculture is business and with hydroponics: there is little input informs of labor, operation cost and maintenance cost in comparison with a marginal benefit, informs of production and sales volume. Secondly, youth can adopt hydroponics for commercial reasons with operational routines ranging from sales of animal feeds, training of local and interested farmers among other hydroponic stated ventures. Thirdly, women need to understand that hydroponics is not a mainly thing and the feminine input is also effective in running the business as little labor is enforced. Fourthly, there is fun running hydroponics with ideas and innovations authorizing the technology and an interested mind will always find it attractive. Finally, hydroponics is a cost effective ventures for our youths and women. Due to the availability of resources and materials, the expected returns as usually probable and materials, the expected return as usually probable and the running of the technology matching up to expectations.
8. Who is involved in this initiative?
Peter Gichuku (Analytical Chemist)
9. How are they involved in the initiative?
Peter Chege Gichuku (CEO) who has also the formula for making hydroponics nutrients which is the heart of hydroponics.
Innovation of the initiative
10. In what ways is your initiative unique?
i. Use of 1/10 of the water used in soil grown
counterparts because water is recycled at every point of use and no water is
lost through evaporation.
KNOWLEDGE TO WEALTH