The National Research and Development Center for Sustainable Agriculture (Estidamah) organized a professional open day on the latest protected agriculture technologies in its office located in the Riyadh Techno Valley, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on 19th April 2018.
The open day started with a detailed introduction by Dr. Khalid Al-Assaf – Executive Director of Estidamah Center – where he shared the Center’s experiences in protected cultivation. Also, the open day included some presentations on Estidamah’s research topics and results, including experiments related to light, climate control, water usage as well as the different substrate materials used in soilless cultivation, in addition to integrated pest management (IPM). In this regard, the presenters discussed the key disease-causing insects, how to monitor them, identify their numbers and caused diseases.
Furthermore, the open day elaborated on climate control and the impact of light transmissivity on production. According to the findings of an experiment conducted in Estidamah on cucumber cultivation under three different greenhouse covering materials – namely clear glass, diffuse glass and polycarbonate, it was shown that the more light a greenhouse receives, the more production it gives. Hence, a greenhouse covered with glass which is cleaned frequently gives the highest production even under high temperature and radiation in the summer period.
The open day was attended by a big number of participants from different specialties, who showed great interaction with the topics discussed and the findings presented. Also, Estidamah offered the audience field tours through its greenhouses, as well as practical training on the new technologies.