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Hydroponics farming

Manasa Kalouniviti
Tuesday, March 06, 2018

INDONESIAN hydroponics trainer Jackie Ambadar says she told Fiji Muslim League president Hafiz Khan two years ago that she wants to train the women at the centre to develop their own hydroponics farm at home.

Ms Ambadar said this when interviewed by this newspaper at the Makoi Women's Vocational Training Centre last Saturday.

"That's how I started this new hydroponics training course at the training centre this year," she said.

"Since this is the first time to run the hydroponics course we have only 17 students but we are expecting many more to join. But six of these current students are very determined to become trainers. They are very keen to learn and I'm very happy that they are all hard workers," Ms Ambadar said.

She said hydroponics was still a new concept and it was very expensive to go into it commercially.

"I started in hydroponics five years ago in Indonesia when I learned that this was a very healthy way of planting vegetables because no pesticides are used.

"We started designing urban farming programs in Indonesia and now I'm very happy that a lot of people back home, who live in big houses, are doing their own farming at home because health is our number one concern right now," she said.

Ms Ambadar said they started by teaching the students at the centre to use old and recycled materials such as empty plastic bottles, buckets and discarded plastic pipes in developing their hydroponics farms.

Meanwhile, centre manager Shazna Khan said Ms Ambadar was a specialised trainer in hydroponics and operated her own hydroponics farm in Indonesia.

"The course is all about environment friendly farming in water rather than soil," Ms Khan said.

"And everything that we use is either recycled or reused and all the nutrients are available locally. At the end of the eight-week course the students received a certificate and a cash prize to help them buy their equipment to start their own businesses.

"The whole idea is to get them to be self-sustaining and perhaps earn a bit of income on the side," Ms Khan said.

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