Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 | 26 Rabi Al Awwal 1441
Greenhouse producing vegetables, fruits opens at Sohar University

Greenhouse creating vegetables, fruits opens at Sohar University

The initial greenhouse was officially opened at the Sohar University final week and has been created as element of a collaboration with University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.

Scientists at Sheffield have been approached by Sohar University to construct a greenhouse that cools rather than warms and can deal with problems like lack of water and soil degradation – a huge difficulty specifically in the area.

The pioneering design and style incorporates cutting-edge technologies created at Sheffield to assist crops to develop, which includes solar energy to convert seawater to freshwater and hydroponics systems, which utilizes foam as an alternative of soil.

Protected expanding in greenhouses is currently widespread in Europe and enables the production of a variety of higher-worth crops which includes tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, salad leaves, herbs, soft fruits and flowers.

However existing styles have a quantity of problems, in certain higher demands for water and power and possible for environmental issues via fertiliser and pesticide runoff. They are also unsuited to the environmental situations of the Gulf area, with very hot climate in the summer time and the restricted availability of freshwater.

Scientists have developed the greenhouse at Sohar University in a way that plants are supported artificially and suspended away from the ground.

Using foam as the artificial material – produced in labs in Sheffield – eliminates the want for soil. The foam holds nutrients and water about the plant roots rather than permitting it to run off like it does in soil.

Duncan Cameron, professor of plant and social biology at the University of Sheffield, who has helped lead the project in Oman, stated, “Geographically Oman is a difficult country. The temperature in Oman reaches highs of 50°C in the summer with 65 per cent humidity, so it is a struggle to grow anything. This leads to food prices quadrupling in the summer. We had to create a greenhouse that can produce fruits and vegetables in the heat of summer but can be dropped as a package anywhere and be made bespoke. We’re delighted to be unveiling the first science-led greenhouse to provide fresh local fruit and vegetables.”

The greenhouse, which is 150sq m, will be utilized as a study facility, demonstrating the possible to breed fish and develop vegetables and herbs.

Professor Tony Ryan from the Department of Chemistry, University of Sheffield, H E Hamish Cowell, British Ambassador to Oman and H E Ahmed bin Hassan al Deeb, Undersecretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry attended the opening.

The collaboration has received funding from the UK Gulf Institutional Links programme through the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Information Source: Muscat Daily

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