Water management in the region
Afriflora Sher is aware that water is crucial, certainly in a country like Ethiopia. As a rose farm in this country, we face the challenge of being extra efficient in how we use water. This means making sure that our water consumption does not come at the expense of the local population. Thanks to its relatively “wet” climate, Ziway is the ideal location for Afriflora Sher.
It regularly rains in the region and there are no water shortages.
Afriflora feels jointly responsible for the environment in its surroundings. That is why Afriflora Sher has teamed up with IDH to start a project that aims to prevent erosion. But other partnerships have also been established to plant trees in the hills to the west of Ziway. This means the soil will be able to retain water more effectively and ensure a better micro-climate. But it will also help to improve bio-diversity. Afriflora Sher is thus very active on this front.
Innovative water management thanks to Wetlands
In addition, Afriflora Sher uses a unique water system that has been specially developed to allow water to be re-used. This means everything is done to use water efficiently. These so-called wetlands have been developed by WUR (Wageningen University & Research). The wetlands purify waste water, which can then be used to irrigate Sher’s roses. The wetlands are maintained by Sher employees.
Afriflora Sher makes sure that all used water is collected again, for example: drainage water and excess water from spraying lines, buckets, packing halls, toilets, etc. This waste water is transferred to natural filters that have been installed inside the greenhouses. These filters contain carbon as well as various types of reed. Reed actually serves as a natural filter. The roots of these plants help to purify the water. To show that the water is very clean, fish have been added to the reservoirs. These fish would not be able to survive if the water contained chemicals. The water purification system is part of a closed circuit, which means no waste water is released into the local habitat. This means everything is done to ensure a healthy environment.
Water consumption minimised using drip system
Roses in the greenhouses of Afriflora Sher are watered using a drip system. The roses are planted in ridged soil and there is a path on each side of these ridges. This means employees can easily access the roses. A drip line is placed on these ridges so the plants can be watered.
The drip line is a rubber hose that runs from the start to the end of each ridge. Each hose is connected to a general irrigation system. The roses are thus watered via drip irrigation. This means plants are watered very effectively, and water and nutrients can be managed a lot more efficiently.
Water consumption is minimised by using water efficiently and by re-using water
Afriflora Sher’s water management serves as an example for other farmers
Thanks to its closed-circuit system and wetlands for water purification, Afriflora Sher is one step ahead of other rose farmers in the Ziway region. However, Afriflora Sher is glad to share its knowledge with other farmers and researchers. Afriflora Sher is proud to serve as a role model in this regard. By working together, the whole region can make advances when it comes to water management.