Phytoponics system used to grow trailblazing tomatoes

Cardiff-based agricultural start-up Phytoponics has teamed up with Aberystwyth University to grow two tonnes of tomatoes, using the patented Phytoponics system.

Phytoponics was founded by Adam Dixon and Luke Parkin and was born out of Adam Dixon’s hydroponic hobby.

Adam Dixon is a Cardiff University School of Engineering graduate. Cardiff University reports the trial is designed to show investors the potential of the system, which produces high yields and uses ten times less land and water than other agricultural processes, with no use of pesticides and herbicides.

The first harvest of tomatoes (Roma Returno) from the trial has been sold to local customers including Chef Matteo Monacelli, from the Royal Pier, Aberystwyth. Harvesting will continue into November with plans to upscale to a commercial size pilot farm following completion.

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.

Adam 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.”

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