With increase in population, the demand-supply chain in India is strained. Due to constant change in economic and social structure, the supply food is under threat. Researchers have found out a tool that leads to soil-less cultivation, which will secure the future of food. Bahrain-based K.V. Bhaskar Rao, CCA, American Society of Agronomy spoke to NewsGram sub-editor Deepannita Das over Skype to explain how hydroponic technology has become blessing in the field of agriculture.
The food services market in India was estimated at $48 billion in 2013 in a study by the National Restaurant Association of India and Technopak. In five years, that could be worth $78 billion – that is nearly what the Indian IT industry currently exports.
Exotic lettuce grown in India could be 30 per cent cheaper than the imported ones. Imported cherry tomatoes can cost Rs. 1,000 a kg whereas the domestically produced ones could be priced at Rs. 200.
Cities like Delhi, Bangalore and Pune are practicing soil-less cultivation in large farms. Apart from that people in other cities are going for roof tops to do the same, said Bhaskar.
Here, the concept of Hydroponics and Controlled environment agriculture comes into play.
The science of hydroponics refers to the process of growing vegetables or fruits, without using actual soil. Despite the fact that all plants grow in soil naturally, it's actually not the best environment for them.
K.V.Bhaskar Rao (left) hydroponic guru, CCA (American Society of Agronomy)
Hydroponics is broadly classified into two main categories based on the growing medium:
Adjiedi Bakas, the Dutch trend watcher, speaker and author of "Future of food" mentions urban farms based upon hydroponics will be developed in megacities. By 2050, 80% of people will live in cities. Food and agriculture become more industrial than ever yet the small markets for seasonal & locally produced food gains popularity amongst elites & becomes more profitable.
The global hydroponics market is projected to reach USD 395.2 million by 2020, at a CAGR of 16% from 2015 to 2020.