What is Nutrient Thin Film Technology?
Salad (Latuca sativa) under Asteraceae family is ready for market at MAFC Farm Cameroon Highland. The fresh produce under Nutrient Thin Film Technology or NTF system recently introduced in Malaysia for commercial salad production. Other popular variety grown in Malaysia are Butter Head, Chinese Lettuce, Crisphead, Looseleaf, Romanine and Summer Crisp.Wrapped salad with this plastic film after the grading process in the farm. The outer leaves was removed and than spray with clean treated water to retain freshness. It must arrive to the wholesale market as soon as possible. The ex-farm price about RM 3.00 - RM 5.00 /head depend on the size, appearance, uniformity, color and season. Mostly eaten as raw salad, Fast Food Industry for Burger (Mc Donald, KFC and A&W) in major big city.
Foreign workers at the harvesting activity. The right timing for harvest are based on the days after sowing in the nursery. Most of the produce are for fresh production. Most salad seed in Malaysia are imported fr on Europe and China.
The Netted Rain Shelter Structure protect the crop from rain and the attack from pests and diseases. The control environment allows most salad grown in Cameroon Highland suitable to grow throughout the year either dry of wet season.
The Nutrient Thin Film Technology (NTF) is a control system which is compatible to all irrigation and fertigation system. In this system a thin film of nutrient solution flows through plastic lined channels, which contain plant roots. The walls of the channel are flexible and this permits them to be drawn together around the base of each plant, excluding light and preventing evaporation. Nutrient solution is pumped to the higher end of each chamber and flows by gravity past the plants roots to catchment, the pipes and a sump. The solution is monitored for replenishment of salts and water before it is recycled. Capillary material in the channel prevent young plants from dying out and the roots soon grow into a tangled mat.
The main advantage of NFT system is that it requires much less nutrient solution. It is there fore easier to heat the solution during winter to obtain optimum temperature for root growth and to cool it during hot summers in arid and tropical regions, thereby avoiding the bolting of lettuce and other undesirable plant responses
The tray of NTF arranged parallel about 2.5 feet above the ground for suitable in planting, crop managements and harvesting activity. Each hole able to grow single plants.
The NTF technology was suitable for fertigation under the Greenhouse System. The costs depends on the material used in this system. For further inquiry of this system , please visits the website related to this technology. There are many farmers in Cameroon Highland use this technology for salads production. Many outside lowland farmers may be never knows about this technology.
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