For many urban households keen to grow their own vegetables but find it difficult to own a kitchen garden, hydroponic farming is proving to bean attractive proposition.
It’s not just households, but some farmers also have taken to hydroponic farming (also known as soil-less farming), which entails growing plants in a nutrient-rich solution.
“It is a new concept in India; it is a niche market, but has spread to a number of States and cities such as Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, Jaipur, and also certain parts of Gujarat. The idea is to cultivate food using technology,” said Sreehari Ambuluri, founder of Hyderabad-based Plantaerie, which is working on sustainable hydroponics food growth systems.
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Plantaerie, along with Singapore-based Farm2Home, has also organised a two-day AgriTech Festival on November 27 and 28 on hydroponics and aquaponics.
According to Ambuluri, hydroponics has advantages such as zero use of pesticides and guaranteed crop.
“The food grown is cleaner as no pesticides are used. Also, it will be in a controlled environment, so there are no concerns about natural conditions,” he said, but noted that it is more expensive.
Household kits cost about ₹8,000, while large-scale farming requires a capital investment of ₹30 lakh to ₹40 lakh for 1 acre to 1.5 acres of land.