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New vegetable varieties successfully grown by Hydroponic Centre
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Four new vegetable varieties, namely ice plant, broccoli seedling, water cress seedling and red komatsuna seedling, have been successfully grown recently by the Controlled Environment Hydroponic Research and Development Centre (Hydroponic Centre), the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) announced today (March 9). The Hydroponic Centre is a joint initiative by the AFCD and the Vegetable Marketing Organization (VMO) for the promotion of agricultural technology.
The Production Consultant of the VMO, Mr Chan Siu-lun, said, "The ice plant and broccoli seedling have been introduced from Taiwan, whereas the water cress seedling and red komatsuna seedling are from the United States and Japan respectively.
"With their unique taste and texture, and high nutrition value, these vegetables can become trendy food ingredients and may be used as salads or side dishes. Production management for these varieties is simple and it only takes 22 to 45 days to reach harvest depending on the individual variety. By using controlled environment hydroponic technology they can be produced throughout the year."
Since its inauguration in 2013, the Hydroponic Centre has served as a demonstrator of advanced hydroponic technology and facilities for the industry and investors. With a view to enriching the variety of hydroponic vegetables grown locally and offering a wider choice for the market, it has also carried out research and development (R&D) work including the selection and testing of new varieties.
The new varieties have been introduced to hydroponic operators who are encouraged to try growing them. Technical support is provided when necessary. Meanwhile, the hydroponic vegetables can be purchased through the mobile application "VMO Local Veggie Fresh" of the VMO.
The Senior Agricultural Officer (Crop Development) of the AFCD, Ms Wendy Ko, said, "The Government is committed to supporting local agricultural development. In recent years, the AFCD has been proactively exploring the introduction of modernised production methods. The Hydroponic Centre is an important initiative for upgrading local vegetable production technology, developing new markets and bringing new opportunities to the agricultural development in Hong Kong."
Ms Ko noted that under the New Agriculture Policy, the Government will continue to promote the R&D of applied technology for agricultural production and facilitate knowledge transfer so as to achieve diversification in the mode of production for local vegetables. This would be conducive to enhancing competitiveness as well as the modernisation and sustainable development of the industry.
The Hydroponic Centre will start collaboration with the Nano and Advanced Materials Institute Limited (NAMI) this year on two other applied research projects, namely Quantum Dot Nanofibre Mat Technology (QD-Mat) and Nano Bubble Technology.
The QD-Mat technology is developed by NAMI. By altering the light spectrum, it can provide crops with appropriate and high-quality light at different growth stages, hence stimulating crop growth. The technology can be used in plant factories using artificial lighting as well as in outdoor greenhouses to supplement the light spectrum when there is a lack of sunlight. It improves the quality of crops and enhances productivity.
Nano Bubble Technology can facilitate germination and nursing of seedlings and improve the quality of the nutrient solution for plant growth.
The research results and experience will be shared with hydroponic operators with a view to facilitating the development of the technology in Hong Kong.
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Last Review Date : 10 March 2017