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Riverstone microbiologist Joseph Ayoub. Riverstone microbiologist Joseph Ayoub. Featured
28 February 2021 Posted by 

RIVERSTONE SCIENTIST'S GAME-CHANGER

He's developed super fertiliser from fish
ELIZABETH FRIAS 
A RIVERSTONE scientist’s invention of fertiliser derived from barramundi fish excrement has been declared a success by experts and consumers – especially when it comes to growing crops in drought.
With testimonials from experts such as horticulturist Jeremy Critchley of Green Gallery nursery in Dural and approval by the NSW Department of Primary Industries, Swift Grow is set to be a game-changer in domestic and commercial agriculture.
 
Microbiologist Joseph Ayoub experimented over 12 years on his aquaculture farm in Riverstone to come up with Swift Grow.
 
“Generally, there is nothing to grow on depleted soil but after testing it, it turned out into something beneficial for anyone who needs fertiliser,” Mr Critchley told The Blacktown News.
 
“I’ve become more confident using it being an organic product, it has a low effect on carbon footprint and it’s encouraging to see bees swarming on flowers. I think we’re making good results.”
 
Mr Critchley’s 10-acre flower farm was among Swift Grow’s trial sites where shoots came out on the second week. He said the “test plants started to show measurable difference” and by the fourth week, the plants had “taller stem with vigorous branching” and “flower bulbs were significantly more with richer and deep colours.”
 
The test was conducted amid the drought in 2019 as temperatures reached 47 degrees Celsius, but the plants grew better than others though watered much less, Mr Critchley said.
 
The fertiliser was also tested on Lynwood’s 230-acre golf range in Pitt Town while suffering from drought. On 4000 square metres patch of the fairways, manager Matthew Bailey said test results after the second application of Swift Grow evidenced “improvement in colour, vigour and drought hardiness” on the lawn grass.
 
“Staff commented on the healthy colour of the turf.  Since using Swift Grow, we no longer required application of additional nutrition or soil wetters,” Mr Bailey said.
 
The rainfall over six months period in the summer of 2019 only averaged 40mm. Lynwood had to cut water usage by almost half yet the turf remained healthy - attributed to Swift Grow being able to tolerate drought.
 
He left his full time research job
 
Mr Ayoub, who left a fulltime research lab job in 2007, discovered the fertiliser from manure of the barramundi fish he was commercially growing on his aquaculture business.
 
The fish feeds he was initially using contained toxic heavy metals causing the barramundi to lose natural flavour thus Mr Ayoub began the experiment on growing the “best tasting barramundi” by concocting “clean and organic” fish feed.
 
He would throw away the fish manure on fruit trees and vegetables growing on the farm, and later noticed healthy yields, larger sizes of fruits, including the bright colours, and natural smell of fruits.
 
“It was amazing to see the much bigger sizes of fruits, the nutritional goodness of the vegetables and the biomass of the fruit’s flesh increased by 50 per cent,” Mr Ayoub said.
The enormous yield on finger limes came as a surprise, too, including the speed of seeds germinating during the experiment.
 
The DPI certification was issued last year stating that Swift Grow is safe to use in soils in NSW and elsewhere and its components bring out healthy soil and help control the growth of harmful micro-organisms and pathogens.
 
The Riverstone Farm marketing manager, Emil Isaac, said Swift Grow will be showcased as a unique Australian product in a Dubai Expo.
 
He recently entered the product in the prestigious Earthshot Prize that was initiated by the foundation established by Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton to find five science-based innovations from across the globe that will tackle the world’s environmental challenges.
 
Last year, Swift Grow won the 2020 City of Parramatta Excellence in Innovation Award following successful results as hundreds of mums and dads’ gardeners gave the fertiliser a thumping thumbs up.
 
Swift Grow is sold online at www.swiftgrow.com.au
or at local nurseries.
 


editor

Publisher
Michael Walls
michael@accessnews.com.au
0407 783 413

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