Growing a green future

More food is needed for rising populations, worldwide. But intense agriculture comes with slipping resources, pollution and global warming. Scientists and entrepreneurs are searching for new ways for more sustainable food supply of the future.
With a growing population of more than 9 Million people, Cairo faces many challenges to provide sufficient and healthy food for its inhabitants. The young entrepreneurs of Schaduf invented a way to cultivate vegetables and fruits on the rooftops of Cairo.

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Rooftop gardens are the key, says Schaduf co-founder Sherif Hosny. The Arabic word “schaduf” refers to an ancient irrigation tool, still used by traditional farmers today. In the case of Schaduf, Sherif and his team install hydroponic farming systems, which need less water, work without soil and make plant grow faster!

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These hydroponic systems allow families to grow their own salad and vegetables. The surplus is collected by the Schaduf team, who sell it on local markets and pay the families for their revenue.

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Often, our food travels needlessly long ways before it arrives on our plate. Schaduf maintains a special roof to test different watering systems as well as the plant’s growth.

Greentech is another key in future food productions. Analysing the process of plant growth to gain the best results is also the special field of researchers at the German Max Planck institute of molecular plant physiology.


Dr. Karin Köhl is part of the research team which focuses on the development of new methods to cultivate drought tolerant potatoes.


Hightech hardware! This gas chromatography-mass spectrometry machine allows scientist to analyse the potato plant’s molecular composition.

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