Hydroponic Farming in Syria
In North Syria, nearly two million children under the age of five were in need of nutritional services in 2016. With the war still ongoing, children are at risk of long-term consequences of not having a nutritionally varied diet.
In the city of Idlib, near the Field Ready workshop, there are many families living in camps or temporary housing with little access to arable land. In addition, water is scarce and must be pumped from underground at a high cost.
Field Ready has been working with a local agronomist to trial hydroponics, a globally popular method for producing nutritionally valuable crops using limited space and water. Field Ready built the system, which included the tubes the crops sit in and an electronic control system to feed in the nutritional solution, from locally available materials.
The trial grew eggplant. While we started late in the season, the yield was still 60kg of eggplant from 23 planters. These were distributed among three families, who reported back positively about the taste.
The main advantage of using hydroponics is the reduction of water use in an area where all water for agriculture must be bought or pumped from boreholes at a cost of ~$3 per cubic meter. We estimate that less than 20% of the amount of water used in conventional agriculture was used during the trial.
After the initial trial, farmers in the area are increasingly interested in this method and awaiting the results of a further trial to try additional crops, system layout and a locally produced nutritional solution. Field Ready now has a wider network of agronomists advising on phase II and we look forward to being able to share results and kit designs with those who can benefit from them.