TU-K’s Vertical Farming Technology causes a stir
Vertical Farming Technology (VFT), one of TU-K innovations being exhibited at the on-going Universities Exhibition in Mombasa, has attracted huge interest from among expo goers.
According to Elizabeth Achieng who innovated VFT, the technology harnesses minimum space and can be used in planting a variety of vegetables. “The technology is best suited to urban dwellers, who have little or in most cases no space to plant vegetables for domestic consumption,” said Achieng. “We are conducting research to establish this model’s economic viability for large-scale production,” explained Achieng. The Technical University of Kenya trains students in skills that seek to offer solutions to problems facing society.
The 14th Exhibition by Kenya Universities at Flamingo Beach and Resort and Spa attracted various education stakeholders. It is being organised and hosted by the Commission for University Education. The three-day exhibition that started on March 17, 2016 is themed ‘Celebrating University Expansion through Diversity and Integration’
Achieng, a student in the Department of Governance and Public Policy, is raring to provide socio-economical solutions including mitigating food insecurity in the region. Jack Nzomo one of Mombasa residents said the innovation, if adopted, would ease food shortage a phenomenon that is recurrent in urban areas especially due to limited space.
Achieng is receiving personalized Electrical and Power Engineering tuition to bolster her innovative ideas. “I was inspired by my brother who has studied electronic engineering. This has given me an upper hand in putting up the solar system that I used for my innovation,” she noted. Solar Energy is used to power a water pump pushing water up through pipes that irrigate crops in this system. The drip irrigation system is therefore easier and cheaper compared to the manual irrigation system.
The organic farming technique will be easily replicated in the dry areas as the fertile soil replenishes after three months of harvest.
BY JULIE BUNGEI
4th Year Student, Department of Journalism & Media Studies