Revolutionizing agriculture, one tomato at a time

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“There are hundreds of greenhouses not 15 minutes from McMaster, but you’ll very rarely find a Hamilton tomato or a Hamilton cucumber unless it’s summertime. Canadian greenhouses just aren’t economically competitive.”

Melissa Houghton, Engineering student

Revolutionizing agriculture, one tomato at a time

McMaster University engineering student Melissa Houghton launched a start-up to make Ontario greenhouses more economically competitive and increase their crop yields. Houghton co-founded her company, Lumago, as part of the Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation master’s program, which teaches students how to be entrepreneurs through “real-time venture creation.”

Her innovative company works to harness aquaponics – a growing system that uses fish excrement to fertilize plants grown in water – to help local greenhouses drive down the cost of their produce by increasing crop yields. Unlike hydroponics systems, which use artificial chemicals as fertilizer, aquaponics systems use fish waste, and so are organic. They’re also thought to produce larger plants which are less susceptible to disease. That could mean higher yields – and the use of fewer resources – for local growers.

Learn more at McMaster’s Brighter World.