The StartUP Project Innovation
The seed-absorbing capsule offered by the team is a device that provides such an auxiliary function, which will help to save water resources, increase the volume of agricultural products and improve the quality of the product.
The capsule is based on the biodegradable absorbent AQUASORS. AQUASORS is a universal agro-hydrogel, which is produced in Armenia: www.ecotechnology.am ; https://www.facebook.com/aquasourcehydrogelarmenia ․ It is able to absorb water and nutrients dissolved in water, provide the plant with water and food at any time and in any quantity.
AQUASORS prevents or minimizes water and fertilizer losses. 1 gr. AQUASORS, absorbing and retaining water over 400 times its weight, reduces the amount of irrigation water needed, improves the physicochemical properties of the soil.
In the framework of AgriThon1 we talked to Nara Kirakosyan, the head of the “Water-absorbing Seed Capsules for New Generation Agriculture” project.
About StartUP Project
– At present environmental conditions, plants and especially crops face a new challenge: to germinate, grow and reap abundantly in degraded soils with scarce and poor quality water and a changed climate. To meet these challenges, seeds need extra support to absorb and retain water, to fight disease and pests, and to provide extra nutrients.
– During the marketing of AQUASORS, we often communicate with farmers to understand their needs and problems. Thus, we found that in recent years, due to the demand for water, the most critical stage in the crop life cycle is perhaps the germination of seeds, especially in dry and saline soils.
– The farmer can lose up to 30% and in some unfavorable years 50% of seeds due to low germination, insufficient moisture, damage due to pests and diseases. This in turn has a negative impact on yields. Thus, the team came to the conclusion that there is a need to create additional comfort conditions for the seeds by providing sufficient water, protection against diseases and pests, and sufficient porosity for oxygen flow.
– The water-absorbing seed pods we offer are a kind of mini-greenhouse, which not only provides all the mentioned conditions, but also provides protection from a polluted, saline environment.
– Moreover, due to the absorbing properties of AQUASORS, the capsule, as a carrier, may contain auxiliary nutrients and antifungal drugs, which have a beneficial effect on seed germination.
The team members believe that the proposed solution will also make it possible to put in use degraded, non-agricultural lands.
It will take up to a year to implement this idea.
About participation in the AgriThon’s first stage of Incubation
– Participating in the first phase of AgriThon Incubation, we were introduced to new approaches and new ideas. We had the opportunity to analyze and refine our idea in more depth, outline our future plans, assess the risks, clarify our goal, as well as gain new partners and expand our business contacts, – the team leader said.
Team Members: Nara Kirakosyan (team leader), Ashot Baghdasaryan, Mushegh Jrbashyan, Naire Yeritsyan
Nor Hachen, Kotayq marz and Yerevan
AgriThon is a competition/platform for startup ideas with innovative solutions in the field of agriculture, implemented by the ICARE-Armenia Foundation within the framework of the USAID-funded AGRI CAMP program.
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