- Mogale Maleka and Tumelo Pule are mechanical engineering graduates
- They developed a system that makes soil-less farming more efficient
- They have plans to commercialise their innovation
Two brilliant graduates have developed an agricultural system that makes hydroponic farming, also known as soil-less farming, more efficient.
Mogale Maleka and Tumelo Pule both hold mechanical engineering degrees from the University of Johannesburg, Briefly.co.za learned. They are both aged 25.
According to Sowetan, the Mogale and Tumelo's system reduces electricity consumption by up to 20 hours a day compared to similar products on the market.
In hydroponic farming, farmers do not need soil and can grow some plants using fertilisers and water only. It's possible because plants like spinach only need soil to prop themselves upright.
However, this type of farming requires constant electricity. When the two graduates first ventured into it, frequent power outages caused their plants to wither.
They therefore developed a hydroponic planter that holds water and nutrients in a reservoir for a longer period. This means that electricity is required to irrigate the plants for only four hours a day.
Mogale and Tumelo received a R28,000 grant from the University of Johannesburg to develop their innovation. Tumelo said:
It is our belief that farming will need to rely on hydroponics because of issues such as urbanisation, climate change, and increasing population growth.
The duo hopes to commercialise their innovation in the near future. Their target market will be farmers and households.
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