The Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department (AFCD) today announced new varieties of cherry tomatoes, strawberries and spinach that have been successfully grown with controlled environment hydroponic technology.
The department jointly launched these out-of-season winter vegetables and fruits with the Controlled Environment Hydroponic Research & Development Centre to offer a wider choice to the market.
Noting that winter crops tend to grow in cool weather and the produce in winter is of better quality, the AFCD said the use of controlled environment hydroponic technology enables them to grow steadily throughout the year.
The technology extends the crops’ supply periods and raises farmers’ income in summer, and the fact that the crops are produced indoors can also provide extra protection and avoid the effects of climate and pests on the yield, it added.
The new varieties of cherry tomatoes are not only rich in nutrition but also have different flavours and textures, have a high degree of sweetness and can be consumed as fruits. They can also be harvested multiple times and the harvesting period can be as long as a year.
Another successfully-grown winter fruit is the strawberry that is used in cooking and making jam and various desserts. This strawberry variety also has a high degree of sweetness, and the harvesting period is as long as 10 months and can cater for different market needs.
The department also introduced two new varieties of spinach with tender and smooth textures. The different seed supply periods of these two varieties can enhance the flexibility of the trade in purchasing and selecting seeds, thereby extending the supply period of spinach.