12 Jun 2015

South Korea forges links at Fieldays

From Country Life, 9:13 pm on 12 June 2015
BioFarm spokesman Jay Choi.

BioFarm spokesman Jay Choi. Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

New Zealand's recent Free Trade Agreement with South Korea has led to an increase in the number of South Korean businesses displaying their products and looking for trade opportunities at the National Agricultural Fieldays near Hamilton.

For the first time, South Korea has its own pavilion at the event, with ten businesses exhibiting.

KOTRA, the South Korean Government's trade and investment promotion organisation has co-ordinated the country's presence at Fieldays.

One of the exhibitors, BioFarm, is promoting a hydroponic vegetable growing tower.

It can grow 48 plants at once in a space that has the same footprint as a newspaper. It is suitable for use in apartments, on verandahs or in colder climates where people don't want to go out to the vegetable garden.

It has a syphoning system that drains the water away from the roots of the plants before it refills which its developer, Jay Choi says prevents root rot and promotes speedy growth.

One version of the hydroponic tower has a tank at the bottom for goldfish.  

"They do what fish do in the water and that fertilises the plants." a BioFarm spokesman says.

Jay Choi says the hydroponic tower took seven years to come to the market.

"We would really like to have a market in New Zealand and that's why we are here" he says.

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