Nurse-Cum-Farmer Workshops On Hydroponics

Otlhomile Botsile's green house. PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Otlhomile Botsile's green house. PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

A nurse-cum commercial farmer, Olemogile Botsile will hold a one-day workshop on hydroponics farming next Saturday.

The event, which will be held at the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, will cover topics such as hydroponics systems, monitoring of hydroponics systems and its advantages as well as the available sources of funding for this farming method.

Botsile told Business Monitor that hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water, without soil.

The hydroponics gardener regulates the composition of nutrients in the liquid solution used to water the plants.

“I found the need to conduct this workshop to sensitise people about this effective method of farming. I realised most Batswana are warming up to it and have been receiving a lot of enquiries about how it is done,” he said. According to Botsile, hydroponics farming is effective compared to other farming practices. He said even though it is expensive to set up, one can get satisfactory harvest afterwards.

As part of the workshop, Botsile said he would be raising funds to travel to China to finally get training on using big machines for hydroponics farming.

“I need to start producing materials needed for hydroponics farming because the demand is increasing.

For financial institutions to assist me achieve my dreams, I need to get training in China,” he said.

Botsile’s journey started at a younger age, as he would usually assist his parents who were both farmers.

The passion for farming landed Botsile on hydroponics farming, which he then went on to study for in Durban, South Africa.   Upon his return, he partnered with his cousin to test his new acquired skills but the partnership soured before the tomatoes were ripe. On his own he turned their backyard into a garden.

“I learnt about different kinds of hydroponics and what stood out for me was the dash bucket one as I thought it was easy to operate, doesn’t need much irrigation and no electricity is needed as it can operate on solar panel,” he said.

“The flow bucket system is good for tomatoes, cucumbers and green peppers while the bucket on top is friendly to the leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage, rape and herbs to mention a few.”

The pilot phase went well as Botsile harvested what he would get from a quarter of a hectare from the 10m-by-10m garden in his backyard.

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