|Authors: ||E.A. van Os, J.E. Baeza Romero, C. van der Salm, I. Jomaa, I. Tsafaras, S. El Skaf, D. El Halabi, L. El Rifai|
|Keywords: ||KASPRO model, soilless cultivation, hydroponics, tomato, cucumber|
Agriculture in Lebanon consumes most of the country's fresh water resources.
Officials, organizations and related stakeholders mostly approve a water consumption use by irrigation of about 60 to 75% of the renewable and non-renewable water resources.
Protected cultivation is still practiced largely in simple individual tunnels.
Water use efficiency is very low, but protected cultivation and soilless cultivation may increase it.
In this project first steps are made to demonstrate to Lebanese growers how to improve traditional tunnel cultivation and to introduce new techniques.
The adaptive greenhouse concept was followed here: analysis of local climate, analysis of growth in present tunnels and modeling effects of new growing techniques in tunnels together with simple innovations: sidewall ventilation, insect netting, bumblebees for pollination, soilless cultivation, high wire cultivation, steering growth on climate and passive heating.
Finally, four greenhouse tunnels were built at the LARI site in Tal Amara, two improved ones and two traditional.
In both types there was one tunnel with soil and one with soilless cultivation.
Two short crops (tomato in spring/summer; cucumber in autumn) gave preliminary indications about the potentials in relation to yield and quality of produce.
An improved water use efficiency could not yet be achieved.
This first year of cultivation was a year of learning for all parties involved, both technically and cultivation level.
Growers and technicians visited the site several times to get informed about the different techniques.
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