An estimated 40% of the world’s people are small-scale farmers, and they are responsible for supplying the majority of the world’s food. At most these farmers may have a few acres but many are subsistence farmers, producing enough to feed their families with very little surplus for trade. They often have to fight damaging environmental conditions such as drought, desertification, and poor soil fertilisation, which can drastically reduce their yield, and make them work harder than ever for what little they are able to produce.
Imagine what a huge difference even just a small growth in yield would make to these farmers, to their families and to global development.
The SG1 (SolarGrow) is complete mobile germination and seedling plant factory specifically designed to aid the fight against world hunger. Arriving on site as a 40ft shipping container the unit unpacks within two hours and starts producing large quantities of seedlings that can be distributed to local farmers. SG1 is designed to fight conditions like those mentioned above, and it is also hugely increases both growing times and yield per acre. For example each unit can produce up to 50,000 Maize seedlings in a week, by speeding up the germination time of the seeds.
Many of the farmers who are learning how to use Solar Grow 1 are women, which is important because women are traditionally the ones who have the hardest jobs and make the least profit when it comes to farming. Solar Grow 1 is helping them take their place amongst the forefront of farmers worldwide.
This is the first ever pilot test of Solar Grow 1 in a humanitarian aid setting, and so far, things are going extremely well. Solar Grow 1 has attracted an enormous amount of attention from local farmers and government dignitaries who all hope that it could revolutionise their country.
Alexander Bushell is the inventor of Solar Grow 1. He works with Boundless Horizons at the Kent Science Park. Recently, he flew down to Kenya to help with the initial set up and training for Solar Grow 1. Last year, his invention won the British and World Invention of the Year award.
Solar Grow 1 comes fully equipped with 4 polytunnel greenhouses, desalination capabilities, plug & go water pumps, a weather station, solar panels, soil and water testing kits, a toilet and a shower, and much more.
Solar Grow 1 is a machine that speeds up the germination time of seeds. Some are producing food within a week. The seeds are not genetically altered, and farmers will be able to grow any type of seeds available to them. Right now, farmers in Kenya are growing peas, beans, cabbage and tomatoes.
Solar Grow 1 makes use of natural fertilisers and solar power, and is much more water efficient than most modern farming techniques. Solar Grow 1 is also capable of using water source that is locally available - even sea water, as it comes with its own desalination device.