What is vertical farming, Is vertical farming profitable, which plants, crops can be used for vertical farming, why hydroponics system is so expensive, green house, advantages of vertical farming, how to start vertical farming information given...
Today we will learn about the most important farming technology - Vertical Farming
Lets dive in deeper
What is Vertical Farming
You must have heard about vertical farming at least once. As the name suggests vertical means in a standing position from the earth towards the sky or it may be flat on the land with the help of some pipes. Vertical farming is the practice of growing crops in vertically stacked layers.
It is very popular in urban areas in comparison of rural areas because it is the soil base as well as soil less farming in which you do not need much space and in cities people don't have option of farming because land in cities are very costly especially cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore it is almost impossible for a common man to own a land for farming so vertical farming is becoming more popular day by day.
The most promising reason behind the popularity of this particular farming is that one can start vertical farming in small balcony as well.
Vertical farming is the most wonderful way to make the most of limited outdoor space. First of all it does not demand for large space you can easily transform a small balcony or room into a productive fruit and vegetables patch.
While talking about space there are additional advantages to vertical gardens. Vertical farming is a type of farming in which crops are grown indoor where artificial conditions are created, lights and temperature provided accordingly. The goal of the particular farming is to produce good profit in small spaces.
Tomatoes, turmeric, gingers are some favourite examples that comes in mind while talking about vertical farming. However there is a huge list of the fruits and vegetables that can easily grown in this type of farming, here are some of them : Peas, brinjals, capsicum, cabbage,
Melon and winter squash, Kiwis, green peas, corn, okra, Brussels sprouts, and sunflower are ideal for vertical farming.
It gives the facility of environment control by using the simple scientific technique which aims to optimize plant growth and soilless farming techniques such as hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics.
Hydroponics - Aquaponics - Aeroponics
Vertical farming provides the option of choosing various structures to house vertical farming system such as buildings, tunnels, containers.
Dickson Despommier (Professor by profession) was the person who introduced modern concept of vertical farming in 1999. He was professor of public and Environmental health at Columbia university.
Read this also - Kafal fruit tree. Are you aware of traditional farming in hill area. Kafal fruit tree in english is known as Myrica Esculenta.
What is the minimum investment required for vertical farming
It depends on the type of product you choose and how much space you want to use. However, it just needs around Rs 4 to 5 thousand if you are not starting it commercially and just utilizing for your own family then this amount is good enough which you can encourage to Rs 8 -10 thousand as per your need. But while investing low amount you have to face the limitations in choosing the product.
Vertical farming is quite popular while investing in small indoor spaces like balcony or single room because it is more than enough for a single family and investment is also low but the popularity decreases while planning for business (large space) in vertical farming because it demands huge investment.
Cost of commercial hydroponic farm
Investment required in one acre land for hydroponic farm will be around Rs 110 lakhs to Rs 125 lakhs
You must be thinking why this much investment is necessary then lets calculate
Note - Popular in small spaces like balcony; for single family only (not much popular in business due to the huge investment).
What is Hydroponic Technique
Select the place where you want to start the system. It would be better if it is connected to the market for immediate supply but one can start it from the terrace of the house as well.
Hydroponics is the technique of Israel under this technique agriculture is done in a net house the most important thing is soil requirement is not necessary for this technique.
Instead of using soil several plastic pipes with holes(equal distance) were installed and divided between a row and columns parallel to each other in which plants were planted. For the irrigation of crops pipes were filled with water this technique supports water and it is a water saving technique, wastage of water is zero percent because used water is used again by the recycling process.
You have to supply the water that is demanded by plant and water is also used in temperature control because it is the cheapest method. Vertical farming differs in many aspects from traditional farming so it has own plant feeding method in which nutrients (according to the crops) were mixed in the water tank connected to the pipes and it keeps rotating in the pipes this technique is called NFT (nutrient film technique). NFT is the technique driven by Israel but due to the environment and after a few modifications India is producing more benefits.
Turmeric, Ginger, Tomato, cucumber, capsicum are some common crops used in this farming apart from these you can choose other plants and vegetables as per your need. The hydroponic farming technique is also famous due to the fewer chances of diseases to the plants and it happens because in this particular technique soil is not used and plants are grown totally on the water so it reduces the chances of disease.
Due to the humidity different types of aphids enters the net house in this condition organic sprays were used to get rid of those insects. Instead of using fertilizers injections were used to feed the plants in this technique seeds were germinated in the tray then coconut peat along with the plant were shift in the polyethene glass this technique is called cocopeat technique it is very effective for plants and trees.
Coco peats are easily available in the market at decent price of Rs 12 - 18 per kg it is not necessary to provide the coco-peat for long time it can be used till the roots come out later you can stop using it or continue using its up to you.
The net house provides you control over temperature by electronic system it provides the facility of setting timers according to the temperature for example if temperature increases showers starts flowing itself and the specialty of these artificial showers is they stop after 45 sec so it is good process to save water as well.
The temperature you can set around 35 degrees because it is known for ideal temperature for almost every crop, above this temperature fruit delivering problem occurs so one just need to set a timer and when temperature increases above 35 degree showers will start flowing accordingly. You can set the timer to control temperature according to your environment and location.
According to farmers this technique produces healthy disease free and shiny fruits or vegetables which easily sells in the market in a good amount. Farmer also looks satisfied while revealing the profit in 1 acre they told they have produced the profit of Rs 11 lakh 20 thousand in tomato production in just one acre by implementing NFT technique.
Farmers also delivered some important facts about this NFT technique they said this is the technique which is capable of producing several acres of production in just one acre space for that it is necessary to adopt the rack system.
While talking about the most emerging crop that is gaining popularity day by day is geranium it is really a sustainable crop. Geranium plant farming is a sustainable plant farming. If you will ask me what is sustainable agriculture or what is sustainable development in the field of agriculture then I would suggest to concentrate on few crops including geranium. Yes, geranium farming profit is much more than the investment.
Aquaponic is the system that connects aquaculture with hydroponics it means the water which is rich in nutrient (aquaculture water) is fed to hydroponically grown plant this process involves nitrifying bacteria for converting ammonia into nitrates.
Let me make it more clear - You must have heard about aquarium which belongs to fish thus Aquaponic as the name suggest also belongs to fish and other aquatic animals, is the process in which fish are cradle and the waste material of the fishes are then used for plants for better growth.
So we can say Aquaponics is the technique that combines aquaculture with hydroponics. In hydroponics technique plants are planted without soil and are grown with the help of water only. While in aquaponics method fishes are cradle in a tank and the same water (that becomes rich in nutrient) is then supplied along with fish wastes to the hydroponic plants for better growth and development.
Aeroponics is the system that creates a highly aerated environment around the root which causes good root development. Aeroponic is the process of growing plants in an air or mist environment. It is the process of growing plants with root system exposed to air. Aeroponic system provides the best environment for the source of clean air and nutrient solution delivering oxygen and nutrition to plant roots which stimulates plant growth.