Bao Duy Nguyen
Nuffield Australia 2017 Scholarship winner
Bao Duy Nguyen of Walkaway near Geraldton Western Australia, receives a 2017 Nuffield Scholarship supported by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited. Bao will investigate the field of protective cropping in horticulture in low tech greenhouses, with an emphasis on monitoring technology and water sustainability practices.
A qualified and practising geotechnical engineer, Bao returned to the family vegetable growing business three years ago. Their business Sun City Produce, produce cucumbers in low tech greenhouses and supplementary open field tomatoes crops in the off season. This is equivalent to 300 tonnes of cucumbers and 150 tonnes of tomatoes, per year.
There are limited crop rotation options when it comes to greenhouses. With increased restriction on chemical use to treat the overused soil and poor water quality management, Bao wants to understand if there can be a cost effective transition to hydroponics in older, low-tech greenhouses or if it’s better to invest in high-tech greenhouses.
Bao is also mindful of potential overproduction of cucumbers this year and next.
“I want to find instruments that will help farmers transition into growing successful alternative crops in their low tech greenhouses. This will keep cucumber prices competitive as well as diversifying into other crops to lower the risk of the cucumber industry price drop.”
He encourages the sustainable development of the horticulture industry in Western Australia’s mid-west region, and believes that this scholarship will help reach the region’s goals by assisting in practices that include:
– diversification of crops,
– implement data logging technology and machinery to assist in intensive farming, and
– use data from greenhouses to create better irrigation programmes
“I want the wider industry to benefit from what I learn – I want to find practical and efficient ways for farmers to apply a scientific approach to growing their crops. This will allow for quicker learning curves in growing different crops, and help diversify their crops and making their businesses more efficient and sustainable,” he said.
Bao hopes to travel to Israel, Holland, Spain, the USA and Japan.
Location: Walkaway, Western Australia
Mobile: 0418 939 982
Returning Scholar presentation:
Bao Duy Nguyen is sponsored by: