HYDROPONICS :promising future of agriculture – Gowtham Rajendran.

Innovation and technology have aided in the advancement of human beings in many fields. Communication has come a long way since the sign language from the Stone Age. The invention of the wheel took transportation to a whole new level leading up to space tourism and self-drive vehicles.

Agriculture is new to neither innovation nor technology, from gathering fruits in forests we have developed techniques such that we mass cultivate on farmlands initially with the aid of cattle and then moving on to heavy machinery.

The Green Revolution in our country brought about hybrid varieties of crops and fertilizers that increased our agricultural production by leaps and bounds but unfortunately, these advancements like synthetic fertilization, chemical pest control also created major setbacks like the toxicity of produce, soil infertility, water exhaustion, and pollution.

Rural food habits are completely different from urban food habits. Rural food is often touted to be healthier and for the right reasons- the produce is procured from farms and fields that lie in close proximity thus ensuring the food is
fresher and nutrient-dense. But in urban areas, the produce comes from distinct places and there is an uncertainty in the quality. To overcome these, Hydroponics can be implemented in urban areas.

Hydroponics is a new and fast-evolving soil-less type of agriculture technology. In normal agriculture soil loses its nutrients and fertility with time, so to avoid that we can use Hydroponics. Plant growth and nourishment can be improved and controlled too. A plant which grows only during a specific time of the year can be grown throughout the year. It has many advantages over traditional growing such as it requires less water as water could be recycled instead of letting most of the water flow into the ground, easier to control its nutrients, no need for pesticide offers much higher yields per square foot and the best of all able to grow indoors without attracting disgusting insects. It works by automatically getting the complete nutrient mixture and water to the roots without drowning the plant. Plants get everything they need all the time, so they do not waste growing a lot of roots in search of nutrients.

Rather than blaming modern farming methods, it is our responsibility to implement innovation such that the production value grows higher without any damages to the ecosystem with an end result of food for all. Being the world’s second-largest producer of food our nation has more responsibility on our shoulders in terms of meeting the demands of the population. It is said that by 2050 a 70% increase in current food production levels will be mandatory to sustain a living on the planet. Encroachment of more land for agriculture, for this reason, will only lead to an imbalance in the ecosystem. As habitats of this planet maintaining a balanced, symbiotic relationship with the flora and fauna are mandatory to sustain our species NASA has implemented Aeroponics in ISS(international space station) which is even more advanced than hydroponics and the only difference is that it uses water in the form of mist/spray rather than in liquid form. For example, let’s take tomatoes. This advanced technology produces six tomato crop cycles per year, instead of the traditional one to two crop cycles.


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