An engineer and inventor from Pocklington has scooped a prestigious United Nations (UN) award.
Adam Dixon, who is the CEO of Phytoponics, claimed the Young Champion of the Earth prize for his horticultural innovation to tackle food insecurity.
Mr Dixon, along with his small team consisting of former Woldgate School and Bishop Burton students, is part of a new agricultural revolution.
Phytoponics’ hydroponic technology supports the growth of plants using 10 times less land and water than conventional horticulture.
The technology enables crops to grow in water encased in a 100% recyclable polymer film, improving irrigation efficiency and reducing the amount of land use needed to produce food.
In just one year, Mr Dixon, together with his skilled team, has built his company up to the value of $2.6 million and is supplying Europe’s second largest producer of rocket salad.
At the moment he is designing hydroponic systems for greenhouses, where the majority of the fresh produce we eat is grown, as well as creating efficient, productive farms on the outskirts of cities so that the majority of the calories needed by a city’s population can be supplied locally.
He is also exploring the possibility of working with the World Food Programme in refugee camps to deploy his cost-effective product to support the supply of fresh produce to thousands of people in what are often barren locations.
Mr Dixon was one of six inaugural winners from around the world to be announced.
The winners each receive $15,000 seed funding, intensive training, and tailored mentorship to help them bring their big environmental ideas to life.
Mr Dixon said: “An important motivator for me has been witnessing the extent of deforestation and habitat loss around the globe to feed our growing population. I think it’s a tragedy that as a species we’ve had to use half our planet for our own needs.
“Gaining the acknowledgement and support from the Young Champion of the Earth prize is a huge boost for me, which will help me achieve my vision for sustainability and food security.”