News from 2016-10-26 / DEG

Innovative greenhouses for South Africa

Harvesting fruits, vegetables and energy: Alensys and SUNfarming, two companies from Brandenburg, have developed innovative greenhouses with integrated photovoltaic modules that provide all this. Fruits and vegetables are cultivated as hydroponics in so-called “Food and Energy” plants. The construction ensures water-saving irrigation and a sustainable food supply. At the same time, renewable energy is produced via solar panels installed on the greenhouses.

A demonstration facility for this “Food and Energy” concept has now been inaugurated at the North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. DEG co-financed the plant, set up by Alensys and the University, with funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Alensys is now able to analyse local production conditions and train technical staff for the plants. It is primarily women from low-income families that are trained to become specialised for the “Food and Energy” plants. On top of that, food produced in these plants is marketed in the immediate surrounding, which improves the income situation of the local population.

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