Tuesday March 20, 2018
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Hydroponic Technology: Soil-less Cultivation to secure the Future of food

The global hydroponics market is projected to reach USD 395.2 million by 2020, at a CAGR of 16% from 2015 to 2020.

Soil-less cultivation. Image source: Wikipedia

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.

  • Agriculture in India is a 370 billion dollar sector– but there is little use of technology to improve its productivity. Around 2 billion dollars of fruit and vegetables are wasted because of lack of supply chain management and cold storage facilities and 40% of it gets wasted in transit, according to 2014 reports.
  • India has approximately 8000 refer trucks capable of transporting fresh produce. Food inflation in India is growing at 7%, due to supply demand mismatch. This inflation translates into an additional 70,000 crore rupees opportunity.
  • According to the data collected in 2010, India uses 91% of available water for irrigation and livestock, 2% for Industry and 7% for municipalities. Out of this, 49% of water is used from ground water sources and by this excessive exploitation water table is receding at 3 to 10 feet per year.

Related article: How Startup India can bring positive changes in agriculture sector

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.

  • While volumes are picking up, restaurant owners are looking to cut import bills and chefs are exploring ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the dishes they create. Air transport of food implies higher energy consumption resulting in carbon emissions.

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.

  • Demand-driven exotic vegetables production is suitable for the farmers as they have assured market through contract with consumers. Exotic vegetable market is growing at the rate of 15 to 20% per annum is increasing day by day since India is importing more than 85% exotic vegetables.

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, (hydroponic guru) CCA (American Society of Agronomy)
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:

  1. Solution Culture: this system employs various techniques of growing. It may be Static, continuous flow (NFT = Nutrient Film Technique), Ebb & Flow, DWC (deep water culture), Aeroponics, Fogoponics, rotary etc.
  2. Medium culture: this system uses an inert porous medium and is termed as passive Hydroponics. Media may be like gravel, Perlite, rock wool, coco peat/husk etc.

 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.

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  • Pritam Go Green

    If there is some technology which is helping to reduce consumption of water then definitely one should go for it. After all water level is constantly going down . we should emphasize on sustainable development.

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Benefits of Taking Vitamin E

Vitamin E due to its antioxidant nature helps in keeping the skin healthy and young

Eating healthy is very important, especially Vitamin E is very essential for our health. Pixabay
Eating healthy is very important, especially Vitamin E is very essential for our health. Pixabay
  • Vitamin E is a very important vitamin for our body
  • Humans don’t generally experience a deficiency of Vitamin E
  • There are many sources of Vitamin E and also, it has many health benefits

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble, essential vitamin, and an antioxidant, our body needs. It prevents the process of lipid peroxidation, whereby the free radicals that are generated destroy the cellular structures of the body. This oxidative damage of the cells has been found in several pathological disorders like Liver cirrhosis and Diabetes, by several studies.

There are many food sources through which one can obtain Vitamin E. Same Condition
There are many food sources through which one can obtain Vitamin E. Credit: www.SameCondition.com

Overt deficiency of this vitamin is very rarely seen. It occurs in those who are unable to absorb the vitamin into their systems and those with inherited disorders that prevent the maintenance of normal blood concentrations of vitamin E.

Vitamin E-Discovery

Vitamin E was first discovered in the year 1922, at the University of California in Berkeley by Dr. Herbert M. Evans, a research physician, and his assistant Katherine S. Bishop. Immediately after the discovery, the researchers set out to find the benefits as well the impact of its deficiency

Alpha-Tocopherol Vitamin-E

There are about eight naturally occurring forms of Vitamin E.  Alpha-tocopherol is the form which is essentially absorbed and stored in the human body. The synthetic forms of alpha-tocopherol are found in the fortified foods and vitamin supplements.

Also Read: Vitamin D can helpful in Recovery from Burn Injuries

Recommended daily allowance of Vitamin E

The Recommended daily allowance for both men and women is 15 mg (35 µ mol)/day (of α -tocopherol). Due to the harmful effects of overdose, like increased risk of bleeding,  the upper limit of consumption for adults is 1,500 IU/day for supplements made from the natural form of the Vitamin and 1,100 IU/day for supplements made from synthetic vitamin-E. The upper limit is lower in children when compared to the adults.

Vitamin E is a great source of energy for the body. Pixabay
Vitamin E is a great source of energy for the body. Pixabay
Vitamin E Function

Unlike most nutrients, a specific role for the vitamin has not been found in any of the bodily metabolic functions. The major function so far identified is nonspecific chain-breaking antioxidant in the circumstances mentioned earlier.

Vitamin E rich foods.

Vitamin E is abundantly found in a normal and balanced diet.

The food sources include

Vegetable oils

  • wheat germ oils
  • sunflower oils
  • safflower oils
  • Corn oils
  • soybean oils


  • peanuts
  • hazelnuts
  • almonds

Seeds like sunflower seeds.

Green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli.

Cereals, Egg Yolk, and


Also Read: Vitamin C helps in treating Tuberculosis

Vitamin E Deficiency

Clinically, its deficiency presents as peripheral neuropathy characterized by the degeneration of the large-calibre axons in the sensory neurons. In this condition, the damaged nerves cause weakness, numbness, and pain, usually in the hands and feet. In some cases, the condition can also affect other parts of the body.

In patients who are left untreated, chronic cholestatic hepatobiliary disease, spinocerebellar ataxia, neuropathy, and ophthalmoplegia may occur These terminologies might sound too complex, complicated, and confusing to the reader, but this is the true picture which results from negligence.

Sunflower oil is a great source of Vitamin E. VOA
Sunflower oil is a great source of Vitamin E. VOA
Vitamin E Benefits

Some studies have tried to show the benefits of the Vitamin in preventing the incidence of Heart disease but the actual correlation between the two is not completely understood yet.

The common eye disorders in the older people like cataracts and loss of central vision have shown inconsistent results in terms of lesser incidence, due to the consumption of this Vitamin. Researchers are still working on to prove the connection between these. It has been shown to improve the mental functions, especially in the senior citizens affected by diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Vitamin E in combination with Selenium has also been used as a treatment for infertility.

This Vitamin due to its antioxidant nature helps in keeping the skin healthy and young. It is also a treatment modality to treat scars and stretch marks. It acts as one of the potent moisturizers for the skin.

The article originally appeared at Same Condition- a patient to patient network. The link can be accessed here: https://www.samecondition.com/blog/vitamin-e-benefits-vitamin-e-foods/