Planting on Air

SAMSON OGBOLE IS TAKING THE BULL OF AGRICULTURE BY THE HORN IN GRAND AEROPONIC STYLE. SEE HOW HE'S TEACHING FARMERS TO PLANT ON AIR, WITHOUT SOIL.

Nigeria is facing one of the toughest economic times and experts have highlighted diversifying the country’s economy would be one major way out. Being heavily dependent on oil, the recent global fall in oil prices has hit the country into an unexpected crisis. Nigeria has favourable weather and massive arable land, agriculture poses as a great option, showing the potential to raise the country above her economic crisis.

Younger Nigerians are hardly tapping into the Agricultural field leaving a huge gap in the potential of the industry. Nevertheless, Samson Ogbole is taking bold steps in filling the gap in Agriculture with a focus on aeroponics. Aeroponics which is the process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or any aggregate medium (known as geoponics) has little popularity around Nigeria and Samson is moving to change the game.

Samson, 33 a trained biochemist started his journey in Aeroponics during his NYSC and has gone on to co-found PS Nutrac, a Lagos-based firm that aims at exploring agricultural technologies for efficiency in food production and food security with special focus on aeroponics. He and his  organisation currently trains, develops and sets up small scale agricultural technologies for farmers, while also partnering with individual researchers and research institutes to explore nutritional benefits in food.

Scientists from CRI Ghana viewing yam plantlets growing at the aeroponics facility at Umudike / Photo via blogs.iita.org

Scientists from CRI Ghana viewing yam plantlets growing at the aeroponics facility at Umudike / Photo via blogs.iita.org

Aeroponics stands as a saving option in today’s Nigeria as the price of lands around the country skyrockets along urbanisation trends. Today, local farmers and residents are at logger heads for limited land. With little to small space aeroponics system can save farmers the stress of heavy land mass. Other than this advantage, this planting method offers farmers other great benefits such as: reduced use of water, planting in and out of season, reduced use of insecticides and pesticides, ability to plant in previously untillable areas, faster plant cycles, automated systems for reduced labour and an opportunity for more people to practice basic agriculture while growing healthier crops.

Photo via adiyaatuluku.com

Photo via adiyaatuluku.com

Samson hopes and is working towards using local and accessible materials in setting up more  aeroponics systems for small and large scale farmers – a timer, pump, nutrient tank, plant chamber/support system and timer. Through his social and PR platforms he plans on meeting with both individuals, private and public organizations as well as agricultural NGOs for establishment of aeroponics systems.  As part of his impact plans he plans to conduct training sessions on how to set-up and maintain these systems.

Samson Ogbole

Samson Ogbole

He also is taking up mentorship and training projects for secondary school students. Today he has a staff strength above 10. To him, Agriculture is nothing to feel less about, it is everything to do with pride, speaking in an interview with Guardian Nigeria he said

Yes, you can work in the farm and still be able to talk to those guys that work in oil firms and not feel inferior.