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10 March 2014  

Eco-innovative farming technology launched in Slovakia

A new system of cultivating agricultural soils developed in Slovakia limits the use of heavy machinery, reducing air pollution and soil damage. Conventional farming methods are dependent on the use of heavy machinery such as tractors.

The AGROKRUH, Agro-circle, system is an electronically-controlled gantry that rotates around a central point, and can be fitted with different implements to break up and cultivate the soil and to water crops. The gantry control system cultivates the soil in spiral patterns, as the gantry circulates, while gradually moving towards its central point. Planting the crops, however, still needs to be done by hand. As the AGROKRUH is a very precise system, it achieves yields of about 30 tonnes of vegetables from two hectares.

While there is no full analysis of the environmental benefits of the system yet, a first calculation has shown that the production of 21 tonnes of vegetables requires an input of about 4000 kilowatts of electricity, which is significantly less than greenhouse production. If powered by renewable energy AGROKRUH is a zero-emissions solution. To reach a wider market audience, AGROKRUH is likely to need external investment. The system is currently only limitedly used in Slovakia.

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