by Rachael Woods
Poverty-stricken families in Kenya are beating hunger thanks to a innovation straight out of Kent Science Park (KSP).
The Solar Grow 1 (SG1) is a mobile germination and seedling plant factory that has been developed by the firm Boundless Horizons, which is based at the Sittingbourne park.
Managing director Alexander Bushell has just returned from Eldoret, Kenya, where the system has been successfully installed.
It provides a super-fast environment for seedlings to thrive and offers the potential to revolutionise food production as the unit can grow up to 80,000 tomato plant seedlings in just one week.
The trip was commissioned by Emerge Poverty Free – a charity dedicated to trying to eradicate poverty.
Mr Bushell said : “It was incredibly humbling to see the level of poverty that the people of Eldoret are facing, which is why the work that Emerge Poverty Free is doing is so important.
“It was such a different environment out there – every day I was hiking through smallholder farms just to get to the compound.
“I don’t think people can grasp the level of poverty that these people are facing unless you’ve seen it with your own eyes.”
Mr Bushell added: “I was amazed at the buzz that followed us around and the number of people that turned up to see us every day.”
Boundless Horizons has been building the unit at KSP and site director James Speck said: “Here at the park we’ve tried to give Alexander the support and space for him to develop SG1 to the point when it was ready to be used in the field, so we are incredibly proud of the good work he has been undertaking in Kenya.
“This invention has the potential to change the world for the better, and I hope that more and more places will be able to make use of his revolutionary technology.”
Don't miss out, subscribe today. Keep up to date with our newsletters.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.