Project Details

Description

Recent years have seen researchers testing and developing ways to improve crop production efficiency. Due to the ever increasing need for food, associated with increasing populations, there needs to be constant improvements in food production systems. Challenges in soil-based systems of crop production such as loss of prime land to urbanisation, climate change, natural disasters, compromised land fertility and environmental effects from indiscriminate use of herbicides and pesticides, has led to the development and use of new systems such as hydroponics. These systems are important for countries like Botswana who face challenges in agricultural production and food security. Hydroponic systems are becoming more popular, more advanced and are taking advantage of technological advancements. This project assesses effectiveness of hydroponic systems against soil based systems under the climatic conditions of Botswana. In addition, the effectiveness of closed settings such as greenhouses will be evaluated in comparison to the conventional open settings that are commonly practiced in Botswana. The project aims to develop a SMART system to monitor and control parameters related to crop production under closed hydroponic and soil based systems. It will explore utilising internet of things (IoT) to improve crop productivity under Botswana conditions. Parameters that will be examined to assess the yield and quality of crops include emergence percentage, emergence time, height of plants, length of leaves, plant biomass, photosynthesis rate, respiration rate, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, nutritional composition of crops and others. Effects of variables such as nutrient solution levels, nutrients quality, pH, atmospheric conditions, light intensity and quality, dissolved oxygen levels, moisture, temperature, and relative humidity and others will also be investigated with the help of IoT.

Key findings

The project aims to develop a SMART system to monitor and control parameters related to crop production under closed hydroponic and soil based systems
Short titleHydroponics Project
AcronymR00136
StatusActive
Effective start/end date7/1/206/30/22

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