Newco, the society for the Transference of Potato Technology, in collaboration with the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, Neiker-Tecnalia, are carrying out a joint project that has enabled them to grow potatoes in the air, without the need for earth.
The potatoes were cultivated thanks to a brand new system known as aeroponía, a tecnnique which seeks to increase agricultural productivity; in the case of the potato plant, twenty tubers instead of the usual three or four were grown.
The aeroponía system avoids the incidence of blight and disease that exist when vegetables are grown in the earth, signifying a massive saving in both water and fertilizers, the project promoters have revealed. This is the first time in Spain that an experiment has been carried out in the large-scale production of first generation seed potatoes using the aeroponía system.
The aeroponía cultivation system for the production of first generation seed potatoes is developed in greenhouses. In basic terms, it entails maintaining the roots of the potato plant in the air and in absolute darkness.