Set up a agri business of growing & processing exotic vegetables in UP near NCR

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Dear Readers,

As hydroponics is soil-free mode of farming then how do the plants store the nutrients and moisture in it which is must for the growth?

Regards,
Shweta
To get more information on the technical aspect of Hydroponics please read "SOILLESS
CULTURE"-Theory & Practice by Michael Raviv & J,Heinrich Lieth.

As told by -
Dr Vidur Sahgal


Very simply, plants absorb food through their roots, and transform it into organic matter through their leaves. Soil is the result of the mechanical alteration of rock and the chemical activity of organic transformations. It acts as a support for plants, it provides the water, oxygen, and mineral salts they need to develop. On a strictly nutritional level, soil acts as a substrate whereas water transports the nutrients. Soil retains water with more or less efficiency, depending on its water retention capacity. At root level, you find small absorptive hairs that firmly stick to the soil particles. These hairs create a vast interaction area between the soil and the plant and enhance water absorption capability of the root surface. This is the reason, especially during transplanting; one has to be careful not to damage these small rootlets. This absorption action, under the influence of “osmotic pressure”, will transport the nutrients from the soil to the leaves.

Hydroponics is a technology for growing plants in nutrient solutions (water and fertilizers) with or without the use of artificial medium (e.g., sand, gravel, vermiculite, rockwool, peat, coir, sawdust) to provide mechanical support. Liquid hydroponic systems have no other supporting medium for the plant roots: aggregate systems have a solid medium of support. The inert growing medium does not contain any nutrients. Hydroponic systems are further categorized as open, where after the nutrient solution has been delivered to the plant roots, it is not reused; or closed where surplus solution is recovered, replenished, and recycled. In hydroponics, plants roots will only take up as much nutrition as they require. However, mixing a solution too high in nutrient levels will result in root dehydration. All plants require a balance of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (N-P-K) and trace elements to grow properly. The growth influencing factors determine a plants' ability of utilize these nutrients adequately. Small amounts of these nutrients can be assimilated through healthy soil; however, they are quickly depleted rendering the soil void of all life sustaining properties.

Hydroponic formulations are structured for the different stages of growth. In hydroponic cultivation, essential nutrients are provided in ideal proportions. A plant's nutritional requirements shift from their vegetative stage to their flowering stage. Natural enzymes, vitamins and some rare trace elements will stimulate normal biological functions in plants. There are other nutrients designed to help facilitate faster nutrient uptake and accelerate stem and leaf growth.

Explains -
Priyadarshini Mollik,
Plant Genome Sciences Pvt. Ltd
 
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editorialteam

New Member
To get more information on the technical aspect of Hydroponics please read "SOILLESS
CULTURE"-Theory & Practice by Michael Raviv & J,Heinrich Lieth.

As told by -
Dr Vidur Sahgal
Dear Dr. Sahgal,

You mentioned water and electricity are two prerequisites of using hydroponics for cultivating fresh fruits and vegetable. On the contrary we learnt that hydroponics uses only 10% of water needed to that of used in soil cultivation. Please explain the difference in the statements?

Regards,
Shweta
 

editorialteam

New Member
Dear Dr. Sahgal,

You mentioned water and electricity are two prerequisites of using hydroponics for cultivating fresh fruits and vegetable. On the contrary we learnt that hydroponics uses only 10% of water needed to that of used in soil cultivation. Please explain the difference in the statements?

Regards,
Shweta
Sometimes because of intentional or unintentional reasons the entire water system gets contaminated and needs to be changed.In this regard and instance there must be adequate back up water supply.Round the clock electricity supply is required to keep
temperature,humidity,water circulation and lighting under control.But these systems do not use much electricity and now the water is kept circulating in the system after due filteration and water treatment.

As told by -
Dr. Vidur Sahgal

Yes, definitely hydroponics uses substantially less water as compared to the soil farming. It is actually drastically less. It is a proven fact. However, this is also true that electricity and water are mandatory requisites for cultivating crops using hydroponics. In soil farming, most of the water that we supply to the plants gets leached deep into the soil and is unavailable to the plants roots, whereas in hydroponics, plant roots are either submerged in water or a film of nutrients mixed in water is constantly encompassing the root zone, keeping it hydrated and nourished. Water is not wasted in this process, as it gets recovered, filtered, replenished and recycled. In such processes, like ebb and flow, nutrient film technique etc. uninterrupted pumping of the nutrient solution is required for which electricity is necessary. Electricity is also required for operating other environmental controlling units like sensors, cooling systems, fertigation units etc.

Explains -
Priyadarshini Mollik,
Plant Genome Sciences Pvt. Ltd
 
Last edited:

editorialteam

New Member
Dear Readers,

Do you feel Indian farmers are aware of this technique or more awareness should be created?

Regards,
Shweta
Hydroponics is still at its juvenile stage in India; there is a stringent need to create extensive awareness amongst farmers. Although progressive farming communities of India are gradually gathering information about this technique and coming forward to adopt this method, our traditional farmers are still unaware about this revolutionary farming technique.

Explains -
Priyadarshini Mollik,
Plant Genome Sciences Pvt. Ltd


The average Indian farmer is not aware of hydroponics at all. Infact, they might be unaware of the contaminated produce that they are currently growing. Those farmers who are aware of this method of farming label Hydroponic farming as too expensive and not commercially viable, but it is rolling in their minds.To invest or not? No one wants to be the first to invest. Awareness must be created and Hydroponics must be handled as a priority national importance project. When NABARD was initially contacted by me they were unaware of Hydroponics.

As told by -
Dr. Vidur Sahgal
 
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editorialteam

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Sorry, we never had looked into hydroponics - We are more interested to bring out the best from the already existing rich soil of our land lying thoroughly unutilised & underutilized with out a proper plan for the future!.

Shares -
Mr. Jose Jacob
 

editorialteam

New Member
Dear Dr. Sahgal,

Do you think there is resistance and hesitation amongst the farmer’s communities to adopt hydroponics? What could be the reasons?

Regards,
Shweta
 

editorialteam

New Member
Dear Dr. Sahgal,

Do you think there is resistance and hesitation amongst the farmer’s communities to adopt hydroponics? What could be the reasons?

Regards,
Shweta
We haven’t come across resistance from our farming communities to adopt hydroponic technology till now. India is a progressive nation and our farmers have always embraced innovative and productive farming technologies. However, some farming communities are hesitant to switch over to hydroponics quickly. One of the key reasons is lack of proper education and awareness about this technique. Some farmers have wrong notion about hydroponics that it is farming using chemicals, which is not true. As hydroponic farming has not been carried out extensively in India, our traditional farmers are uncertain about the results (yield- quantity, quality) and return (where to sell the produce, what price would they get) after spending a decent amount on initial investment.

Explains -
Priyadarshini Mollik,
Plant Genome Sciences Pvt. Ltd


The Ministry of Agriculture has just finished selling the concept of the Cold Chain to the farming community.Hydroponics is far more energy efficient. In hydroponics temperature are required to be kept year long in their 20s whereas in the Cold Chain the temperatures have to be kept about at -5 degrees Celsius.It uses less water and the produce can be harvested round the year; almost daily, which is a clear match with the Indian need to eat fresh daily. I regret saying this, but the authorities missed out on identifying Hydroponics, and they have a big job in their hands to now sell hydroponics to the farmer community. Resistance and hesitation is there mainly because of the big numbers involved and no finance schemes offered by the government, besides the pricing issue.

As told by
Dr. Vidur Sahgal
 
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editorialteam

New Member
Dear Dr. Sahgal and Priyadarshini,

Does the farmer need to undergo some training before adopting hydroponics cultivation? If yes, who and where this training is provided?

Regards,
Shweta
 

editorialteam

New Member
Dear Dr. Sahgal and Priyadarshini,

Does the farmer need to undergo some training before adopting hydroponics cultivation? If yes, who and where this training is provided?

Regards,
Shweta
Yes. To switch over to hydroponic farming, farmers need to undergo basic training about hydroponic farming like irrigation and fertigation, keeping a check on greenhouse environment and growing conditions, maintaining pH and EC etc. Every Indian state has its own government-run horticulture boards (NHB & NHM) that conduct introductory training for progressive farmers. At Plant Genome Sciences Pvt. Ltd, we give on –field training to the farmers, who are going for hydroponic greenhouse cultivation, because we believe that this is the best way to learn, discovering the practical growing challenges and solving them. Learning by doing is the best way of training!

Explains -
Priyadarshini Mollik,
Plant Genome Sciences Pvt. Ltd

Yes training is required. But not much. I was surprised to meet a MBA student from Pune taking training at a Lettuce Hydroponic farm that I visited in Israel. Meeting her I felt I was on the right track. Initially for the first few farms the training will have to be undergone in Israel, but thereafter it could be at a hydroponic farm location in India itself. M/s Growponics,Israel the company that I represent in India can provide A to Z turnkey Concept to Commissioning services for hydroponic solutions.

As told by -
Dr. Vidur Sahgal
 

editorialteam

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Dear Readers,

In your opinion what could be success rate of hydroponics in India? And which are the vegetables and fruits should the farmers opt for when using hydroponics farming?

Regards,
Shweta
 

editorialteam

New Member
Dear Readers,

In your opinion what could be success rate of hydroponics in India? And which are the vegetables and fruits should the farmers opt for when using hydroponics farming?

Regards,
Shweta
Sky is the limit if one can harness the power of hydroponics. If done on a large commercial scale, hydroponics can rain profits for the Indian farmers. Hydroponic farming is expected to grow exponentially, especially in India, looking at the present food requirement, market demand and export opportunities. Although farmers can grow almost any crop using hydroponics, they must evaluate and understand the market opportunity before investing. Since hydroponic produce are considered as premier products due to their better quality, colour and size, Indian farmers can fetch fairly high price if they find the right place to sell. Also, hydroponics gives you the freedom to grow any crop in any season under controlled environment agriculture. Farmers can schedule and grow crops in such a way that they can sell off-season, better quality crops at a much higher price.

Shares -
Priyadarshini Mollik,
Plant Genome Sciences Pvt. Ltd

Theoritically any fruit and vegetable can be grown using hydroponics. But most successes in hydroponics have been with lettuce and strawberries.

As told by -
Dr. Vidur Sahgal
 

editorialteam

New Member
Dear Priyadarshini and Dr. Sahgal,

Looking at the present scenario what are the prospects of Hydroponics in India?

Regards,
Shweta
Hydroponics is fairly a novel farming technology for Indian farmers. It is a flexible technology, apt for both developing countries, like India, and high-tech space stations. Hydroponic technology efficiently generates crops in desert, infertile lands, in mountainous regions, on city rooftops and concrete schoolyards. In highly populated areas, where skyrocketing land prices have evicted traditional agriculture, hydroponics can provide locally grown high-value crops such as fresh salad greens, herbs and cut flowers. This technique is also ideal for growing wide range of plants especially fruit bearing crops, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, leafy vegetables.

Like manufacturing, agriculture tends to move toward higher-technology, more capital-intensive solutions to problems. Hydroponics is highly productive and fit for automation. The economic prospects for hydroponics CEA may improve if governmental bodies determined that there are desirable effects of hydroponics that merit subsidy for the public good. Such beneficial effects may include the conservation of water in regions of scarcity or food production in antagonistic environments.

This technique can be used anywhere in all agro-climatic zones, and hydroponic fruits and vegetables have higher nutritional value and tastes better than soil grown crops. If optimum growing conditions and nutritional requirements are applied, combined with effective horticultural management, this agriculture system can offer alternative means of food production. For popularization of hydroponics in our country, it is very important to provide scientific proven technology of hydroponics to gardeners and create mass awareness in potential areas at national level.

Shares -
Priyadarshini Mollik,
Plant Genome Sciences Pvt. Ltd


Its depends on the growers and the consumers. If we insist on eating pure and fresh then the prospects are very bright but if we just give in and say, "chalra hey, chalne doh" then there are hardly any prospects for hydroponics in India.

As told by -
Dr. Vidur Sahgal
 

editorialteam

New Member
Dear Dr. Saghal and Priadarshini,

Precisely what changes would be seen in Indian horticulture in next five years with hydroponics in focus?

Regards,
Shweta
 

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