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What is Hydroponic farming? Advantages & disadvantages in India

    What is Hydroponic farming? Advantages & disadvantages in India

27 May, 2022

Hydroponic farming is a form or a type of farming in which plants or crops are being grown without much use of soil, it is usually water-based, with nutrients filled and soil–fewer plants grown.

Hydroponics is a commercial farming method that is not practiced for commercial purposes but is grown in households as well.

 

Why soil-less farming?

This seemingly little change in how we create food (by avoiding the soil) is essentially revolutionary, as it allows producers to produce food anywhere in the world, at any time of year, and with fewer resources. 

Crops grown or cultivated under hydroponics can be grown anywhere as Growing seasons and regions are currently undergoing dramatic changes as temperatures and growing conditions shift. Even in "normal" settings, there are many places where the terrain isn't suitable for farming (for example, deserts, concrete jungles, and so on).

 

 

How do plants usually grow?

Plants make their food by the process of photosynthesis where they take the green-colored pigment from the leaves known as chlorophyll to transform the carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen.

 

Hydroponics is a modern method for increasing productivity, quality, and profitability that combines agriculture with technology. The hydroponics business is thriving in today's world, and it is helping to shape the agricultural industry's future.

 

How to start Hydroponics Farming in India?

To start hydroponics farming in India is a simple yet effective course in which you can engage yourself. hydroponics farming business has grown in a boom.

Many private and government organizations provide certification and diploma courses in modern farming techniques such as hydroponic farming, aquaponic farming, etc.

Courses under modern methods of farming are varied mainly based on short term and long term.

 

Components required for setting up of Hydroponic farming system.

1. Reservoir

The reservoir is a tank-like structure that is used to store the nutrient solution before it must be delivered to the plants the tank should hold large quantities of water and it must ensure that it is opaque and does not provide shelter to any infectious living organisms.

 

2. Grow tray

The area or the structure in which the plants are grown is known as the grow tray or grow chamber. The grow tray or the grow chamber holds one or more plants in a hydroponic system. Depending upon its type. The grow tray may permit the water to drain out of the growing medium when required. Some grow trays are designed to hold grown mediums like clay pebbles stone, etc., they are specifically designed to hold the pots containing plants and mediums in trays. The grow tray is also called the hydroponic tray.

 

3. Air pump

The air pump is a system that features a pump same as found in the aquarium setup. It is used simply to circulate the water in the reservoir to maintain the oxygenated state and discourage any angle growth which means it provided aeration (length and angle towards the growth of plant).

 

4. Nutrient and delivery system 

Nutrients are dissolved in water for effective gardening and are so effective for the growth of the plant. The delivery system is accountable for moving up the nutrient solution from the reservoir up to the grow tray and then draining the excess solution back into the reservoir.

 

Which are the most profitable crops under hydroponics?

1. Cherry tomato

2. Red cabbage

3. Lettuce

4. Mushroom

5. Strawberries

 

Advantages or benefits of Hydroponics Farming. 

1. Higher produce

Hydroponics farming is a modern way of agriculture that combines technology too. So, using hydroponics farming as a method of farming leads to higher yields. Plants are grown in a well–managed system. As the roots are bathed or are riches in nutrients, they need plants are grown in the upward direction using less amount of time and energy.

 

2. Less or a handful of chemicals

While hydroponic systems can not eliminate pest problems, they do reduce the likelihood of them occurring, reducing the need for pesticides and herbicides. 

Weeds cannot take over your garden since hydroponic systems are well managed. As a result, herbicides are no longer required. 

 

Furthermore, because hydroponic systems are frequently used inside, pests have a harder time infiltrating them, therefore pesticides aren't required.

 

3. Nutrients control

Hydroponic systems feed plants a fertilizer solution mixed with water, allowing the farmer to better manage the nutrients absorbed by their crops. 

Fertilizers may be required to help cultivars cultivated in soil survive. However, under hydroponics, the plants are already receiving all the assistance they require in the correct amount.

 

4. Hydroponics : soil erosion

When practicing hydroponics, leads to a reduction in the problem of soil erosion. Soil erosion is the uneven tear of the fertile layer of the soil.

As soils are hardly used in hydroponics farming the problem of erosion must be dropped down to zero. The consequent practice of hydroponics will ultimately solve the problem of soil erosion to a greater extent.

 

5. Minimizes the space

Plants produced in hydroponics require significantly less room than those cultivated in soil. When hydroponics and vertical farming techniques are merged, they can require up to 99 percent fewer lands than traditional agricultural techniques, depending on the setup. 

Hydroponic plants have a smaller footprint since their roots do not have to spread out to find nutrients and moisture. Depending on the hydroponic technology used, water and nutrients are given directly to the roots, either occasionally or continuously. As a result, each plant's root system takes up significantly less area, allowing more plants to be grown in a smaller space. When vertical stacking methods are included,

 

6. Less number of laborers are required

Hydroponics relieves laborers of the burden of tilling, weeding, herbicide and insecticide treatment, and other labor-intensive farm tasks, and may be managed with significantly fewer man-hours. This lowers the cost of raising crops while also freeing up time for other activities. A tiny hydroponic greenhouse can be run fully by a single part-time employee.

 

7. High quality of food production

Fresher is unquestionably better when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Due to temperature and soil conditions, few people live in a location where they can acquire fresh produce all year. So, even in the offseason, how can we get high-quality food into the hands of the bulk of the world's population? 

 

Food that ripens naturally on the plant contains more nutrients and tastes better. These vegetables can be cultivated in almost any place because hydroponic gardens have their microbiomes. Because they don't have far to travel before reaching the homes and restaurants where they'll be savored, they can be selected at their height of ripeness.

 

8. Fewer insecticides and herbicides are involved 

Hydroponic farming does not require soil, and it also does not require or use chemicals. This allows you to develop clean and healthful meals over time. Your safety is always a top priority, and it is never jeopardized.

 

9. Not so time-consuming

Hydroponic farming allows you to see faster and less time-intensive plant growth in addition to spending much less time tilling, cultivating, and weeding your plants. Hydroponic farming fits nicely wherever agriculture is planned with a technological space.

 

 

Disadvantages of Hydroponics Farming

1. Requires expertise 

Practicing hydroponics farming requires some level of expertise as it is a modern method of farming using technology. The plants will not develop or flourish as much as you'd want unless you know how to operate this equipment. 

Even the tiniest error can have a significant impact on plant development, potentially damaging your hydroponic system. That is why you must become familiar with the equipment and procedures used in the farming process.

 

2. Risks or uncertainty involved in water and electricity

Electricity and water are two essential components in hydroponic cultivation. The Hydroponic system will not thrive unless you have enough water or consistent energy. You must take adequate safety precautions while growing plants in this system to ensure that plant growth is not harmed at any point.

 

3. Expensive

The modern method of farming which is the hydroponic method of farming is slightly more expensive than other types or forms of farming.

Hydroponic farming, unlike traditional soil-based farming, necessitates the purchase of pricey equipment (at least for the first installation). Containers, high-quality lights, an accurate timer, and high-quality nutrients are required regardless of the type of system you wish to design. 

 

After you've finished setting up the system, the only ongoing costs will be the fertilizers and energy. If you are unwilling to make a significant initial investment, this may not be the ideal solution for you.

 

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