Kios Matenek introduces a hydroponic system to overcome agriculture in urban areas

Kios Matenek introduces a hydroponic system to overcome agriculture in urban areas

DILI, 01 april 2022 (TATOLI)—The Kios Matenek Youth Organization introduces a hydroponic system with a greenhouse prototype to tackle agriculture in urban areas and maintain a safe environment for the community.

Kios Matenek is a group of youth winners of the Green Building Design Challenge 2020 from the Timor-Leste Accelerator Lab who have harvested its first vegetables from their hydroponic walls.

The Green Building Prototype represents a youth-led initiative embracing green practices for environmental protection and social empowerment.

The team nominated by Kios Matenek (KM) was selected as the most innovative team during the green building design challenge in december 2020 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

“Initially we thought of selling vegetables and many other ideas, until finally we thought how we can sell vegetables but it was developed with an innovative farming system and this is from hydroponics, this system answers the needs of agriculture in urban areas because there is no area for gardening and farming which need much water,” said Kios Matenek Co-Founder, Fernando Cardoso Gomes to TATOLI through an Interview exclusive on 30th of march 2022 in Dili.

The  Kios Matenek (in Tetum) or Knowledge Kiosk aims to promote local materials for Eco-friendly and recyclable buildings. The team has successfully built a prototype to demonstrate an innovative approach to sustainable living in Timor-Leste.

Kios Matenek also aims to bring more youth, women, community leaders and members into their spaces to practice hydroponics. The KM green building prototype features structures built using local materials such as local wood and palm fiber, solar panel energy and a hydroponic system.

Fernando Cardoso, said that his team had gained a lot of insight during the design challenges to the construction stage. There are different techniques for using local wood that are designed not only to support the building as a whole, but can be reused for hydroponic systems. “We are excited to combine local knowledge and new technology for the KM space. Another concept is solar panels to make energy in the operation of the hydroponic system itself, so it does not use electricity from Electrical Power of Timor – Leste (EDTL). Certainly, rainwater is also collected in the profile tank which is used to distribute water to the hydroponic system and for other needs, “he explained.

Currently Kios Matenek has grown a variety of vegetables ranging from mustard greens, spinach, and tomatoes where all the produce is resold at a price of $ 0.25 per net pot. He admits that the self-study process is carried out self-taught through the internet and also references from Laku Mean Farm.

“Initially we learned from YouTube because none of us have an agricultural background, in Timor-Leste we saw that there was a Laku Mean Farm group that practiced this, so we connected with them to find out about the Hydroponic system and it’s not difficult to implement, the installation is very easy,” he said.

Picture by Kios Matenek.

Kios Matenek itself was launched on 01th of october 2021 with the five founders Fernando Cardoso Gomes, Ross Merry da Gloria, Jaime Castelo, Abel Fernandes and Joana Carceres. Up to date,  Kios Matenek has nearly 20 volunteers who are actively helping in the five divisions of Strategy Sustainable Design, Experimentation, Innovation, Social Impact and Environment.

The Kios Matenek also had already been visited by many institutions such as, the Tibar Training Center, João Saldanha University, and other Youth Organizations who wished to increase the knowledge about the hydroponic systems and environmentally friendly buildings.

Journalist : Camilio de Sousa

Editor       : Rafy Belo


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