The word “farmer” tends to paint a very typical picture in our minds. We immediately think of someone who is working alone in a field, toiling day after day and sweating in the hot sun as they plant and harvest crops by hand. But this portrayal is rapidly changing.
These days, modern farmers are becoming more and more technology savvy. And what’s more, they are now relying on data and digital technologies as much as age-old wisdom and knowledge for farming. In such a scenario, the field of hydroponic farming in India has emerged as a key factor that will shape the future of the agricultural industry.
Wait. But, why do we need to change the agricultural industry?
According to a report published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the total population of the world is projected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030 and 9.8 billion in 2050.
To put things into perspective, this means that around 83 million people are being added to the world’s population every year. But wait, there’s more. In the next two years, i.e. by 2024, the population of India is expected to surpass that of China.
In other words, there will be more mouths than ever to feed. And climate change isn’t making the situation any better. Unprecedented droughts, floods, and extreme weather conditions continue to threaten the food security of millions of people around the world.
If that isn’t enough to make you stop for a moment and rethink everything, we don’t know what is.
So, what is the solution?
Switching to sustainable methods of farming, like hydroponics, can be a major gamechanger.
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil, switching to a nutrient-rich solution instead. An eco-friendly and sustainable method of farming, it is revolutionizing and rethinking how the agricultural industry works, because of the wide range of benefits that it provides. In other words, hydroponic integrated techniques make farming more accessible, from a multitude of perspectives.
Recommended: Guide to Invest in Hydroponic Farming
In terms of water, a hydroponic farming setup uses up to 90 percent less water as compared to traditional farming. Surprising, isn’t it? This is because hydroponic integrated techniques use water in a more planned and efficient manner.
Hydroponic plants receive all required nutrients from a nutrient solution and since this technique establishes a controlled environment, the water can be recirculated through the system.
This aspect comes in the form of a blessing especially for a water deficit nation like India, where agriculture is the sector that consumes a majority of the water available in the country.
What does this mean?
Through hydroponic integrated farming, the concern caused by decreasing arable land can be elevated. Barren and arid land that was traditionally considered unsuitable for agriculture can now generate substantial yields.
In fact, the notion of land for agriculture itself is changing. Start-up companies around the world are now pitching for buildings filled with countless levels of hydroponic systems, thus creating a new avenue for vertical farming.
2. Weather conditions
In terms of dependence on weather conditions, hydroponic crops are almost never reliant on natural atmospheric conditions. This is because hydroponic integrated techniques create a controlled environment.
Hydroponic plants grow in a setup where a diverse range of factors from temperature to atmospheric pressure can be controlled by the farmer. So, crops can be grown with an unprecedented level of predictability, regardless of the weather.
Given the current scenario of global warming and climate change, this aspect proves to be a great boon.
What does this mean?
Agripreneurs can now benefit by investing in hydroponics as a business because it creates produce all year round.
For those employed in the field of agriculture, this means more stability. In conventional farming, farm laborers and other employees are often hired on a seasonal basis. Hydroponic farming brings hope in terms of job security, health, safety, housing, and a lot more.
In terms of the process and setup, hydroponics provides immense flexibility. The equipment and automation can be as simple or complicated as you want, depending on your level of interest, expertise, and investment.
Additionally, a diverse range of plants can be grown through this method. Greens like lettuce and kale are relatively simple to grow, while those like potatoes and carrots require either extensive equipment and/or expertise.
What does this mean?
If you are a professional from a non-agricultural field, you can easily reap the benefits of farming through hydroponics. You can choose to get online or offline training and start growing hydroponic plants from your home, office, or any other space that you can procure.
Alternatively, you can contribute to hydroponic farming in India as well as generate ROIs on your capital by investing in opportunities such as a hydroponic joint venture.
If you are a seasoned farmer, hydroponics can open new avenues for you. Because of the control that this system provides, there is ample scope for experimentation. You can grow different plants in a wide range of combinations of nutrient solutions and atmospheric conditions, to determine the set that leads to impressive produce.
This also means that you can now grow exotic veggies, throughout the year, right from your own backyard.
Recommended: Different types of Hydroponic Systems
Given the benefits, will hydroponics replace traditional farming?
In one word, the answer is no. Both hydroponics and traditional farming have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. While hydroponics provides nutritious produce throughout the year, it requires a proper infrastructure and technology. And on the other hand, while traditional farming is not as costly, it can sometimes be unpredictable.
So, the answer lies in a combination of the two. While traditional methods of farming continue to exist, hydroponics can thrive in scenarios where the former cannot be applied.
And no matter what the future holds, one thing's for sure. Sustainability will be the key to the future of farming. And alternate methods like hydroponics can shape the future because of this factor.
Where do we come in?
At Brio Hydroponics, we are constantly striving to make hydroponics a profitable venture in India. Through our training and consultation services, we encourage farmers to grow and flourish in this growing field. And we’re leveraging the power of hydroponics to create solutions for individuals so that they can easily grow hydroponic plants in their homes and offices.