22 Oct 2018 Press release Cities and lifestyles

Young Champion takes hydroponic project to the next level

Nairobi, 22 October 2018 – Welsh agro-tech startup Phytoponics – spearheaded by winner of the 2017 Young Champions of the Earth prize Adam Dixon – is taking operations to the next level by securing 650.000$ in extra funding to scale up commercial output.

The cutting-edge hydroponics company is further looking at implementing a supplying contract with two major UK supermarkets early in 2019, after a highly successful pilot phase focusing on the production of grade-a quality tomatoes.

The extra funding will allow the company to further scale up the results of their pilot trial phase and bring in high-level horticulture sector expertise to help scale up crop yields and take the company’s systems to a commercially scalable level.

The growing system has the potential to be deployed in disaster zones, providing a sustainable food solution for even the most challenging regions. Globally, hydroponic technology can drastically reduce the enormous amounts of soil and water we use for our crops.

In contrast to competing growers using conventional hydroponics technology, Phytoponics' patented Hydrosac technology is particularly designed for large vine crops such as tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. The technology uses long tubes of containers through which nutrient-rich water is pumped, nurturing the plants in the most efficient way possible.  The technique currently surprisingly uses slightly less water than drip rock-wool hydroponics – the industry standard – with water retention is still far better than in soil growing methods, with yields much higher.

Adam Dixon and his revolutionary approach to hydroponics were among the 6 winners of the inaugural Champions of the Earth Prize cycle in 2017. The Prize, which is one of the world’s most prestigious environmental awards for young people between 18 and 30, included US$ 15,000 in seed funding, training and mentoring, and access to a powerful international network of entrepreneurs, private sector mentors and diplomats.

NOTES TO EDITORS

About UN Environment

UN Environment is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UN Environment works with governments, the private sector, the civil society and with other UN entities and international organizations across the world. 

For more information, contact:

Georgina Smith, Young Champions of the Earth communications, [email protected]