An award-winning high-yield farming system developed by a young British entrepreneur is currently being trialled in Wales.
Adam Dixon will grow two tonnes of tomatoes in a small greenhouse this summer, using his patented Phytoponics system.
Phytoponics is an agricultural start-up co-founded with Luke Parkin and born out of the pair's hydroponic hobby.
The trial is designed to show investors the potential of the system, which produces high yields and uses 10 times less land and water than other agricultural processes, with no use of pesticides and herbicides.
Harvesting will continue into November with plans to upscale to a commercial-size pilot farm following completion.
'Jacuzzi in a bag'
Described as a ‘Jacuzzi in a bag’, the Phytoponics system rolls out and inflates to provide a safe haven for a range of commercial plants, from salads to vines, growing plants very fast.
The sealed unit delivers nutrient-rich water to roots through an integrated aerator whilst keeping moisture in, and pests out.
Mr Dixon said: “Taking a small 50m2 greenhouse to grow two tonnes of tomatoes in 6 months is a great accomplishment, but I think in Wales and the UK we need to produce much more if we are to become self-sufficient in growing our own fruits and vegetables as a country.
“Wales has many agricultural challenges due to its difficult geography of mountains and saline soils. I believe there is a great opportunity for Wales to implement new advanced technologies including Phytoponics to tackle food security sustainably and become less reliant on imports.”
The entrepreneur has already clinched a string of awards including Innovative Start-Up of the Year at the Wales Start Up Awards 2017, UN Young Champion of The Earth for Europe 2017, and the Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award 2017.
And this year, Mr Dixon is one of three UN Young Champions of the Earth to be selected as a Climate Trailblazer in the run-up to the Global Climate Action Summit, which takes place in San Francisco later this month.
The Climate Trailblazers have been chosen from around the world and reflect the global nature of the Global Climate Action Summit, which aims to bring together the best in international climate change activity.