Walter Schroth created dryGrow
The beginning of dryGrow. Years ago, he met Carlos Tua Guava from Embrapa in Brazil. He has been researching his whole life for the improvement of agriculture and animal husbandry in the semi-arid areas in the northeast of Brazil. He summarized his entire research life by saying to Walter: Without a cactus, solid agronomy in semi-arid regions of the World is unthinkable.
Thousands of farmers were very motivated by his work to expand their cactus plantations with 20 to 60,000 plants per hectare or to create many brand new plantations in Brazil, even in the most intense form. This motivation increased productivity to 250 to 600 per ha/year. It is possible to feed 20 animals with a 1-hectare cactus plantation instead of just one animal on 6 hectares of pasture per year.
However, these new systems meant that the Cochinilla do Carmin spread over most of Brazil. This insect is very aggressive, especially in dry times, and destroys the Opuntia Ficus Indica plantations in no time. Therefore Walter Schroth proposed to strictly control the spread of parasites in new farms through the production of young plants by micro-propagation.
In the following years, hard work and scientific research were also done on the genetic side to develop varieties that are also economically insensitive to pests.
The primary purpose of the dryGrow Foundation is to create Opuntia and related genera for biomass production. We are pursuing this goal by delivering cactus plants of the most suitable varieties to the countries concerned.
dryGrows Cactus is obtained exclusively from in vitro cultures. The proprietary micropropagation protocols developed at dryGrow’s Sicily laboratory in collaboration with the Catania University. This approach mainly serves to prevent the spread of pests and diseases and the possibility of getting large amounts of propagation material, required for the planting of intensive plantations.
These experiences led to the first improvement of the work processes in the production of Cactus in 2013.
Since then, under the responsibility of Aurelio Siebert, a strong collaborator and friend of Walter Schroth, dryGrow has had a cactus plantation in Sicily with its laboratories and a demonstration center that is getting bigger and bigger.
dryGrow has already carried out projects in Madagascar, Brazil, Senegal, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, and Mozambique and also sustained these projects financially.
dryGrow is currently working with Catania University in Italy and the University of Florida – IFAS and several other universities in Africa to investigate a wide range of problems related to planting and feeding opuntias and related species on site.
All of this was only possible through Walter’s Big Heart and his extraordinary generosity. He wanted to be sure that dryGrow will survive in the future.
- Water conservation and management
- Walter Schroth
- Visitors and tourists to the Monti Iblei area of the province of Syracuse
- Sustainable agriculture and farming practices
- Seed Oil
- Researchers and academics
- Policy and advocacy for arid regions
- Plant species and cultivation techniques suitable for arid regions
- Members of the dryGrow Foundation
- Innovative technologies and solutions for arid regions
- Indigenous knowledge and traditions related to farming and land management
- Grazing Systems
- Foundation related
- Food and Beverage
- Farmers and agricultural workers
- Education and outreach programs
- Community-driven development and empowerment
- Climate change impacts and adaptations
- Cellulose for the Pharmaceutical Industry
- Carbon capturing
- Cactus World Characters
- Arid land management and conservation
- Animal Diets
- What was the trigger that prompted Walter Schroth to create dryGrow Foundation
- How the dryGrow Foundation Empowers Communities in Semi-Arid Regions
- The Science Behind Micro-Propagation and Its Applications in Cactus Cultivation
- Exploring the Potential of Cactus-Based Products in the Food and Beverage Industry
- The Role of Opuntia Cactus in Combating Desertification and Soil Erosion
- The Impact of Cactus-Based Agriculture on Water Resources in Dryland Areas
- The Potential of Cactus-Based Agriculture in Supporting Pollinator Populations in Arid Regions
- Opuntia Ficus Indica: A Natural, Sustainable Fencing Solution
- Interaction between Cladode Orientation and Planting Season
- The Potential of Utilizing the Spineless Cactus for Bioenergy Production
- Palma Forrageira: A Promising Alternative Source of Cellulose for the Pharmaceutical Industry
- Potential of Prickly Pear-Based Natural Sweeteners and Colorants
- Who is Adriana Santanocito?
- Opuntia : an economical food source for camels
- Cactus as an Alternative Fodder for Livestock in India
- Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction of Seed Oil from Opuntia dillenii Haw and It’s Antioxidant Activity
- Combining Leucaena Hay and Cactus Pear for Crossbred Steers’ Diets
- How to make Nopal Flour
- The carbon-capturing potential of Opuntia species.
- Carbon Capturing Mechanisms in Opuntia
- Cactus Feeding & Rotational Grazing: A Sustainable Trend in Ranching
- Prickly Pear the drought-resistant crop
- Acta Horticulturae 1343 Thank You
- Were we are – Monti Iblei Syracuse
- Opuntia Cactus: The Solution to Camel Herders’ Nutrition Challenge
- What is Micropropagation
- Exporting endemic Opuntia from Mexico
- Professor Paolo Inglese University of Palermo
- Unlocking the Potential of Opuntia Ficus Indica: Prof. Stefano La Malfa
- San Cono’s Secret
- The magic of the Fico d’India
- Prof. Jose Dubeux a Pioneer in Promoting Sustainable Use of Cacti
- USE of LED Lights for growing Cactus
- A Beacon of Hope for Adigrat University and Sustainable Agriculture
- Who is Djalma Cordeiro Dos Santos?
- About Orelha de Elefante Clones
- University research
- Get involved
- Biomass – Opuntia – What we do and offer
- dryGrow`s 1st Photo & Video contest (closed)
- Geographical Areas-Resources