Author Topic: Who is dryGrow Foundation  (Read 985 times)


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Who is dryGrow Foundation
« on: July 21, 2017, 08:18:20 AM »
The dryGrow Foundation is a non profit organization whose mission is to improve agriculture in semi-arid areas of the globe trough Opuntia Cactus by applying modern knowledge and techniques, in order to be able to imagine a new agriculture where plants, animals and humans can live in harmony.

To do this we make use of plants and their cultivation methods to improve the lives of people and communities living in semi-arid areas of the globe using mainly opuntia cactus.

Our research center for sustainable agriculture is located close to Ferla and Cassaro in the province of Siracusa in Sicily. Our Sicilian operating headquarters is located at the "Agriturismo Porta Pantalica in Cassaro", we collaborate with researchers of the University of Catania and with local farmers who have given to our disposal land for trials.

In this location we found the ideal situation for research and development and the opportunity to try innovative methods of planting and harvesting opuntia for forage production. We have a nursery, which consists in a greenhouse and a laboratory of micropropagation and operational analysis. There are experimental fields, where we made intensive cultivations of opuntia cactus and an extensive collection of types of O. ficus-indica and Nopalea we got from around the world.

Here we are trying and improving our methods of cultivation, the multiplication of plants, the harvesting and how to feed them to animals. Since May 2016 we are able to export our propagation material obtained from in vitro propagation worldwide in large quantities.

The technique that we use to get high-quality plants is based on micropropagation which allows the production of plants certified by the phyto-sanitary point of view, we can ship our plantlets all over the world to support agriculture in disadvantaged areas.

Plants that can help you make the most of these areas, where desertification is taking the upper hand, belonging to the family Cactaceae and varieties attributable to the genus Opuntia Cactus.

These opuntia cactus plants have the advantage of being used as a valuable resource for forage but also for human sustenance ensuring greater food security and well being for the people and at the same time allowing you to fight soil erosion. These plants are characterized by a high water content (85-93%), in fact using cladodes as food resource may can also fulfill the water needs in livestock, and obtaining substantial water savings at the same time.

The species, which we have used are Opuntia ficus-indica and Nopalea spp.. The purpose of intensive plantations of these species is to use soils in semi-arid areas to achieve significant increases in biomass production for farmers. These cacti are easily adapted in drought situations, in conditions unsuited to other plants.

Through an intensive cultivation technology of cactus, with rainfall between 300-500mm, we get a production of 300-500 tons of biomass per hectare and year.

We carefully select the right varieties of Opuntia Cactus or Nopalea suited to target area, we bring our knowledge and enthusiasm to involve farmers and families in these projects. The species mainly used are varieties of Opuntia ficus-indica and Nopalea spp.

Our propagation material is bred in the laboratory by means of the micropropagation technology, we are thus able to provide opuntia young seedlings of high quality in quantities needed for implanting large surface areas.

The seedlings are provided by us free of substrate and not yet rooted. The most efficient method to get faster in large quantities seedlings with affordable cost is definitely that of propagation in vitro.

We specialize in both in vitro cultivation with liquid substrate and solid substrate. Using this technique, we can ensure that our planting material comes from known species and are free from diseases and pests.

The varieties we produce at this time are Gigante (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill), Orelha de elephante mexicana (Opuntia stricta Haw) and Mao de moça (Nopalea cochellinifera Salm Dyck), those varieties are considered the most promising and are already widely used for the production of biomass, they are also quite productive, more resistant to cochineal carmine and adaptable to poor soils and are more palatable by livestock.

We are ready to export this material and send free samples for testing to your site, number 200 of the variety (Gigante and Orelha de elefante Mexicana). We are interested in how these plants fit in your climate and in how to feed these plants to your animal herds.

Please send us a brief description of your projects and if and when you are ready to receive our material. For this first supply the plants shall be free, and the shipping costs are paid by dryGrow.

We also would like to know when you are willing to receive this material from us. For this first supply the plants shall be free, and the shipment costs are borne by us.

Please also discuss our project with the local Phyto-sanitary authorities in order to avoid import and export issues, and thus let us know what types of certificates are needed to import our seedlings in your country.

We also offer the service to develop micropropagation protocols of plants that have difficulty by in vivo propagation. You can provide plant material (cuttings, whole plants or seeds) and we will try to optimize the multiplication of this plants using the technique of micropropagation. We remain at your disposal for any clarifications.

Best regards,

dryGrow Foundation Team Sicily