Nygaia: The substrate of the future

Klasmann-Deilmann and Maan Biobased Products present innovation

In the future, the biodegradable substrate fiber Nygaia will be used to make plugs for growing young plants in hydroponics, vertical farming and other controlled growing environments. Photo: Maan Group, Klasmann-Deilmann

Conserve resources, avoid emissions, increase yields, secure food supplies. Commercial horticulture is accelerating its sustainable development, high-tech cultivation systems promise ever greater efficiency, and also the substrate industry is looking for innovative solutions. In this context, Nygaia substrate fiber forms a complete new approach and could prove to be a decisive milestone for sustainable horticulture. Now Maan Biobased Products and Klasmann-Deilmann presented the prototype.

For several years, the two companies have been successful partners in the production and distribution of the Growcoon solution for propagation systems. Their cooperation has now resulted in the development of a promising substrate fiber made from biodegradable and biobased raw materials with tailored properties for sustainable and technically demanding cultivation.

Raymond van Ispelen is involved in the Nygaia project for Klasmann-Deilmann: “We have been working on this biodegradable substrate fiber for several years. Now we have a mature prototype that we will be testing in the coming period under increasingly complex conditions in terms of production and horticulture: ever faster, ever more, ever perfect. Nygaia consists of more than 60% natural raw materials, degrades completely under the right conditions, and leaves no residue. The fiber is inert, it has no nutritional value of its own, and it supports root growth. This innovation is a game changer.”

In the future, the substrate fiber will be used to make plugs for growing young plants in hydroponics, vertical farming and other controlled growing environments. The usual substrate will be completely replaced by Nygaia. Raymond explains, “The seed or seedling is placed directly into the Nygaia plug, which functions like a substrate.” In addition, other applications are already in the pipeline.

The aim is to offer both a semi-finished product for shipping and the machinery to produce fresh substrate fibers on site, for example, in the nursery. “Our customers then have a choice. Either they order Nygaia from our production or they produce Nygaia themselves on their own equipment,” says Raymond. The second option in particular gives nurseries more flexibility and saves time. In addition, transports can be reduced by a factor of 40.

The biggest challenge in developing Nygaia was balancing performance and sustainability. First and foremost, a substrate must promote plant growth and for this it needs, for example, a good water and air capacity as well as structural stability. At the same time, the ecological footprint should be significantly better than for any other raw material used in substrate production. All desirable properties could be replicated by Maan Biobased Products and Klasmann-Deilmann using environmentally friendly and renewable materials.

What is behind the Nygaia brand?

Nygaia is a pioneering substrate fiber with a meaningful name. Literally, Nygaia means “New Mother Earth”. As of now, Nygaia also stands for a high-tech solution for growing young plants in hydroponics, vertical farming and other controlled growing environments.

Raymond adds, “Next year, Nygaia will be officially launched as a product and brand. We will now be working hard to launch this product.


Skadi Menne


Klasmann-Deilmann, press release, 2023-04-12.


Maan Biobased Products


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