Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using nutrients in water without soil. It also helps save water, almost all plants can be grown through this method even if it’s Banana – it’s just that it will take a lot of space when compared to leafy greens, lettuce, spinach, tomato or cucumber. The only obstacle of growing a banana tree hydroponically is its feasibility. With the help of this method, the habit of eating healthy is just ‘research and knowledge’ away. Hydroponics is bringing the farm to your home and allowing you to involve yourself in the farming business much more easily than ever before.
Although if you are interested in setting up a hydroponics system you should have an idea of:
Which plants can be grown hydroponically?
All kinds of plants and flowers can be grown through this method like beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, capsicum, garlic, okra, onions, potato, sweet corn, lavender, basil, pumpkin, pea, mint, roses, dahlia, thyme, ginger, turmeric, and many more.
Which type of hydroponic system will be the most suitable?
There are a total of six types of hydroponic systems, below are the brief description of all the systems that might help you to choose the most appropriate –
- Ebb and Flow:
The nutrient solution reaches the grow bed until a certain level and then goes back to the reservoir through a standpipe, a pump is plugged with a timer to check and control the flooding intervals and durations.
- Deep Water Culture (DWC):
The plants are placed in net pots and grow media, the roots dangle in the oxygen-rich nutrient solution. An air stone hooked up to the air pump that helps the nutrient solution oxygenated.
- Wick System:
The nutrient solution is pumped up directly to the end of the roots, the plant root drip emitters are placed to slowly drip nutrient solution over the plant’s root system.
- Nutrient Film Technique (NFT):
Usually, a channel or tube is used as a grow bed, the oxygenated nutrient solution is pumped up to the grow bed, the grow bed is tilted or given a slope so that the nutrient goes back to the reservoir through a drain pipe.
- Drip System:
The nutrient solution is pumped through tubing with offshoot tubes ending at each plant. The plant root drip emitters are attached directly to the root, these emitters are placed to slowly drip nutrient solution over the plant’s root system.
The roots of the plant simply dangle in the air without the grow media, the nutrient solution is pumped through a tube capped with mist novels that spray the root system of the plant.
Any support from the government?
The government of India is providing loans and help people who are planning to enter into the hydroponic farming business. Many organizations and programs exist to provide a push to this industry.
- NABARD – National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development
- Chief Minister’s Employment Generation Programme
- Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme
Apart from these, there are various subsidies from the National Horticulture Board and National Horticulture Mission (State Government).
Before you jump into any business it is advisable to perform a SWOT analysis to get a better understanding that would help you with your decision making, below you can find a SWOT analysis.
- High yields from a small space.
- Less labor-intensive means fewer costs.
- Makes any land with water source useful for production.
- One can get premium prices on the produce.
- Can be used for both sustenance and commercial.
- High capital is involved.
- Needs your time, commitment, and devotion.
- No dedicated laws or standards in India.
- No industry associations in Hydroponics.
- Improves the health quality of one, as the hydroponic method is free of pests and fertilizers.
- Brand, package and sell a clean, healthy, and unique product.
- Create and Gain a good grip in India.
- The produce raised can be sold to the niche market with high returns.
- Inconsistent supply arrangement can ruin market intake.
- There is a common perception that hydroponics is unnatural that is not at all true.
- Must not compete on price but quality.
- Vigorous marketing of certain soil-grown produce may be a threat to hydroponic produce.
Now what you need to do is select the plant of your choice, then select a suitable system and start farming from home but before you go commercial, I would suggest you experiment with the online hydroponic systems available on e-commerce websites like Amazon, to get a better understanding of this method and explore the huge potential of hydroponic farming.