Water is Food is Life.
No Water-No Food!
Food security exists when all people, at all
times, have physical and economic access to
enough safe and nutritious food to meet their
dietary needs and food preferences for an
active and healthy lifestyle”
• To be "food secure" means
Food is available / Food is affordable / Food is
• Indians are demanding high quality, pesticide
free, fresh produce. Money not the criterion.
• Growing demand for high quality, microbe
free, medicinal and aromatic plants.
• People are aware of dangers of pesticides,
global warming and its ill effects. Media plays
an important role.
• Consistency, quality and yields possible only
by modern techniques of cultivation.
What is Hydroponics
• Is the practice of growing plants without soil.
• Plants can be grown in plain nutrient solution
or in sterile substrates, therefore microbe
• Hydroponics uses less than 1/10th - 1/5th of
the water used in soil cultivation. Saves a lot
• No weeds to deal with. Less space, higher
Benefits of Hydroponic Cultivation- 1
Field versus Soil-less grown
Farmer has no control on environment.
Yields are not accurately predicted.
Budgeting is ineffective.
Cannot always ensure adequate aeration of the root zone.
Gives grower effective control over the environment.
Yields are very predictable.
Budgeting is easier,
Root zone aeration as well as adequate porosity of medium is
Benefits of Hydroponic Cultivation- 2
• Hydroponic nutrient solutions can be tailored to the plant’s
requirements, whereas in the field there is a tendency to over or
• Hydroponic produce has all the macro-micronutrients that are
needed by the human body.
• Nutrients in the soil are often fixed as insoluble compounds that
are not available to plants and therefore a loss to the grower.
Uneven nutrition is ensured by virtue of leaching and sloping of
Benefits of Hydroponic Cultivation- 3
Water Security and Savings
• Irrigation water in field grown operations cannot
be effectively recycled.
• Hydroponics can reduce irrigation water usage
by 70% to 90% by recycling the run-off water.
• As water becomes scarce, and important as a
resource, the use of hydroponics and other water
saving technologies is needed now and is poised
to increase in time.
Benefits of Hydroponic Cultivation- 4
Fungal disease can be significantly reduced through controlled humidity.
Hydroponic systems will reduce the amount of exposed moisture in the growing
Hydroponics will effectively prevent wetting of the leaf surfaces which, in normal
agriculture, provides the fungal spores with the perfect medium to proliferate.
Hydroponics eliminates the possibilities of root diseases by allowing sufficient
porosity for drainage of excess water as well as increases oxygen availability to
the root zone.
Root zone temperatures are maintained as is ideal to ensure good growth of the
Benefits of Hydroponic Cultivation- 5
• Weeds are a major problem in Soil cultivation and calls for the use of
harmful herbicides. Most farmers spend an enormous amount of
money on labor for weeding.
• All labour inputs associated with soil management, such as digging
and weeding are eliminated with hydroponics.
• Substrates being sterile and inert, do not influence or allow weeds to
Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
Benefits of Hydroponic Cultivation- 6
The use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in protected
environments is ideally suited to hydroponic growing techniques,
especially when carried out in a protected environment such as a
glasshouse or plastic/polythene tunnels.
• The use of IPM can virtually eliminate the need to use toxic and
expensive chemical pesticides.
• Whereas IPM is much more difficult in Soil cultivation and calls for
near total use of dangerous, life threatening chemical pesticides.
• Diseases and pests from neighboring farms can cause spread of
diseases in one’s field crops.
Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
Benefits of Hydroponic Cultivation- 7
Kinds of Hydroponics
Simplified Hydroponics is a means for small and medium farmers to manage small
facilities , up to, say, 1 or 2 acres for commercial gain.
This is a much cheaper system as it involves using cheap recyclable materials like
old wooden boxes, PET bottles, bamboo, etc to grow vegetables, herbs and certain
Commercial Hydroponic Greenhouse systems are capital expensive in the
beginning but pays off rich dividends depending upon the produce cultivated, the
markets these are sold to and the remuneration thus achieved by sales of premium
fresh produce in the right niche segments.
When compared to Soil cultivation, Hydroponics reduces the need for farm
equipment, reduced labor , reduction of crop losses, gives consistent and
Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
Commercial Hydroponics- Some Yields
*Note: Figures are conservative.
• You see and ask “Why”
• I believe and say “Why Not?”
Plant grown in a Hydroponics Greenhouse…
Can be protected from increasing and damaging UV radiation.
Offers the possibility of safe biological control of insect pests and
Uses Water that is reclaimed and reused.
Allows nutrients to be reclaimed, re-balanced and re-used.
Can be protected from unpredictable weather patterns.
Have a good root system that is not at risk from contaminants and
Make efficient use of labour, which is increasingly expensive.
Can be grown to take full advantage of their genetic potential
Produce outstanding crops by using optimum nutrient
Off season production possiblecopyright of ISH, India
when market prices are highest.
• What is Hydroponics?
Defining hydroponics. Literally, the name means working water. Simply put, it
is the art of gardening without soil. There are six basic kinds of hydroponic
systems with hundreds of possible variations.
Myth: Hydroponics is a new technology
The Pharaohs of Egypt enjoyed fruits and vegetables grown hydroponically.
One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, The Hanging Gardens of
Babylon, was believed to be a hydroponic garden. In India, plants are grown
directly in coconut husk; hydro at the most grassroots level. If hydroponics is a
"new" technology, it is a new technology in general use for thousands of years.
Hydroponics is not new -- just different.
Myth: Hydroponics is artificial or unnatural
Plant growth is a real and natural happening. Plants require basic, natural
things for normal growth. Hydroponics supplies the plant with what it needs,
when it needs it. There is no genetic mutation that takes place inside the
equipment nor are there any mysterious wonder chemicals introduced to the
plants roots that trick them into thinking they're on steroids. With the
production of more refined nutrients, it is now possible to grow completely
organic produce with hydroponics. You can't get more natural than that
Myth: Hydroponics is bad for the environment
This is totally false. Growing plants hydroponically is far more earth
friendly than conventional gardening on numerous levels. As we are
coming to realize that water is our most precious resource the first point
worth noting is that hydroponics uses 70 to 90 percent LESS water than
conventional gardening. The second greatest ecological benefit is that no
fertilizer runoff escapes into our lakes, rivers and aquifers. These two
items alone, water conservation and the non-pollution of lakes and
streams, are major plus values.
Myth: Hydroponics is a space-science far too sophisticated and high-tech
for the average person to understand or master
As we've stated, hydroponics is growing without soil . An inexpensive
bucket or nursery pot, filled with a hydroponic growing medium and hand
watered with a hydroponic nutrient is hydroponics. A sheet of Styrofoam
filled with net cups and floating on an aerated tank is hydroponics. The
technological potential for automation and total environmental control is
virtually limitless but in no way required to have a beautiful and abundant
hydroponic garden. Basic hydroponics can be taught to the very young,
the very elderly and anyone open to learning a few new tricks.
Myth: the use of Hydroponics is not widespread
Hydroponics is used extensively the world over. It is used in countries
where the climate prohibits or limits growth and where the soil is too
poor to support large-scale crop production.
Myth: Hydroponics must be used indoors
Hydroponics is as easy to use outdoors under the sun as it is indoors. One
advantage to gardening indoors under grow lights is that you, not Mother
Nature, control the seasons, making the growing season twelve months
Myth: Hydroponics requires no pesticides
The need should be greatly reduced because of strong & healthy plant .
Soil-born pest will be totally eliminated
Myth: Hydroponics produces huge super-plants
Every seed, like all living things, already has a genetic code that will
determine its general size, yield potential and flavor.
Getting a plant to grow to its highest potential in common soil is difficult
because of the hundreds of variables in the soil's make-up which influence
the plant and its growth. It is the ability to control these variables that
makes hydroponics superior to conventional gardening. In addition, factor
that a plant in soil expends a great portion of energy working for its food
in a way that hydro plants do not. The diva existence of a hydroponic
plant allows it to send that extra energy into faster growth, dense
vegetation, larger yields and more flavorful produce.
Dr. Howard M. Resh, in his book HYDROPONIC FOOD PRODUCTION, cites
vegetable yield increases that are dramatic; identical cucumber plants
produced 7,000 pounds per acre in soil but 28,000 pounds per acre when
grown hydroponically and tomato yields that ranged from 5 to 10 tons per
acre in soil but 60 to 300 tons per hydroponic acre.
Summary of the Benefits
Reduced water consumption
Improved Produce Quality
Increased Yields and Growth Rates
Longer Shelf Life
Less labour inputs .
Higher Value Crops
Extended Growing Season
Lower Labour Costs
Pests and Diseases
No Soil – No Problem
Hydroponic Cultivation/soil & Soilless
Use of Hi-tech grow methods
• Protected cultivation : Commercial Greenhouse
a. Row & Hanging -plantation, with soil mulching.
b. Drip system,
c. Water soluble nutrient,
d. Automation controlled environment; temperature,
g. Concentrated high yield per plant,
h. Ornamental high value Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits &
National Horticulture Mission
• A National Horticulture Mission has been
launched as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme to
promote holistic growth of the horticulture
sector through an area based regionally
• The scheme is fully funded by the
Government and different components
proposed for implementation financially
supported on the scales laid down.
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