Twenty-Five persons attended the first in a series of “Hydroponics as a Business Training” on Saturday 9th September at the Kew Town Farmers Market in Providenciales held by the Agriculture Department.
The training was conducted by Mario Smith-Extension Officer who took participants through the fundamentals of setting up a hydroponic unit.
Participants who attend the training were exposed to three types of techniques- Dutch Bucket, Deep Water Culture and Vertical Nutrient Film Technique. They showed keen interest and committed to starting their own unit at home.
This training is a component of the “Business in a Box Program” which will focus on two areas -Hydroponic Farming and Layer Production. This program seeks to train Turks and Caicos Citizens in establishing their own hydroponic unit and/or backyard layer unit at home, taking records and then later on possibly expanding to commercial production once they understand the farming techniques.
The Business in a Box program is divided into two phases- phase 1 (Providenciales and Grand Turk) and Phase two (South Caicos, Salt Cay, and North Caicos).
This program is one of the many ways the department is using to encourage persons into the agriculture sector so that more local food can be produced and the Turks and Caicos Islands can move towards food security.
Hydroponic Farming is non soil farming, plants are grown using a water-based nutrient solution rather than soil, and can include an aggregate substrate, or growing media, such as vermiculite, coconut coir, or perlite. This type of farming is suitable for TCI since it utilizes less space and water than traditional farming and it can be automated making it less time consuming.
The Agriculture Department encourages everyone to follow on Facebook @Department of Agriculture TCI to get free information on various Agriculture Topics and see upcoming training.