Commercial hydroponics is it viable


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This is a presentation made by Chief Visionary and Founder of the Pet bharo project in India at IIM Ahmedabad in 2009. This PPT takes a person intending to go into commercial hydrponics into the nuances of this industry. more details are available on or contact

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Commercial hydroponics is it viable

  1. 1. Commercial Hydroponics- Is It Viable? <ul><li>Presented by Lt Cdr (retd) CV Prakash, IN </li></ul><ul><li>CEO, Chief Visionary and Founder- The Institute of Simplified Hydroponics, Bangalore, India </li></ul><ul><li>CMD of Hydroponic Greenhouse Technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Farmer-in-Chief at Hydrofresh Farms Bangalore </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Food and Water Security Seminar, Ahmedabad </li></ul><ul><li>26 th and 27 th Mar 2010 </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  2. 2. <ul><li>Water is Food is Life. </li></ul><ul><li>No Water-No Food! Simple . </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  3. 3. <ul><li>“ 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” </li></ul><ul><li>To be &quot; food secure &quot; means … Food is available / Food is affordable / Food is utilised </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  4. 4. 12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India Food and Water Security-How they link up?
  5. 5. Situation on Ground 12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  6. 6. This Presentation Aims…. <ul><li>To bring to each one present here an awareness of a methodology of cultivation called Soil-less Cultivation/Hydroponics . </li></ul><ul><li>To educate the participants of how this technology can play an important part in helping conserve water and yet derive yields of unimaginable magnitudes. </li></ul><ul><li>TO ESTABLISH THE VIABILITY OF HYDROPONICS IN COMMERCIAL TERMS </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  7. 7. <ul><li>Indians are demanding high quality, pesticide free, fresh produce. Money not the criterion. </li></ul><ul><li>Growing demand for high quality, microbe free, medicinal and aromatic plants. </li></ul><ul><li>People are aware of dangers of pesticides, global warming and its ill effects. Media plays an important role. </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency, quality and yields possible only by modern techniques of cultivation. </li></ul> B ackground 12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  8. 8. The Need for Change <ul><li>The definition of Insanity is……….doing the same thing everyday, but expecting a DIFFERENT result…….. </li></ul><ul><li>A leap of faith is needed by one and all to try new methodologies of sustainable cultivation. </li></ul><ul><li>ISH India presents ………………………………………………… </li></ul><ul><li>One Partial solution….. Is Soil-less Cultivation/Hydroponics. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  9. 9. What is Hydroponics <ul><li>Is the practice of growing plants without soil. </li></ul><ul><li>Plants can be grown in plain nutrient solution or in sterile substrates, therefore microbe free. </li></ul><ul><li>  Hydroponics uses less than 1/10 th - 1/5 th of the water used in soil cultivation. Saves a lot of water . </li></ul><ul><li>No weeds to deal with. Less space, higher yields. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Benefits of Hydroponic Cultivation- 1 <ul><li>Field versus Soil-less grown </li></ul><ul><li>Open field </li></ul><ul><li>F armer has no control on environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Y ields are not accurately predicted. </li></ul><ul><li>B udgeting is ineffective. </li></ul><ul><li>C annot always ensure adequate aeration of the root zone. </li></ul><ul><li>Soil-less/Hydroponics </li></ul><ul><li>G ives grower effective control over the environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Y ields are very predictable. </li></ul><ul><li>B udgeting is easier, </li></ul><ul><li>R oot zone aeration as well as adequate porosity of medium is ensured. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  11. 11. Benefits of Hydroponic Cultivation- 2 <ul><li>Plant nutrition </li></ul><ul><li>Hydroponic nutrient solutions can be tailored to the plant’s requirements, whereas in the field there is a tendency to over or under-fertilise. </li></ul><ul><li>Hydroponic produce has all the macro-micronutrients that are needed by the human body. </li></ul><ul><li>Nutrients in the soil are often fixed as insoluble compounds that are not available to plants and therefore a loss to the grower. </li></ul><ul><li>Uneven nutrition is ensured by virtue of leaching and sloping of land gradients. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  12. 12. Benefits of Hydroponic Cultivation- 3 <ul><li>Water Security and Savings </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigation water in field grown operations cannot be effectively recycled. </li></ul><ul><li>Hydroponics can reduce irrigation water usage by 70% to 90% by recycling the run-off water. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  13. 13. Benefits of Hydroponic Cultivation- 4 <ul><li>Microbial Diseases </li></ul><ul><li>Fungal disease can be significantly reduced through controlled humidity. </li></ul><ul><li>Hydroponic systems will reduce the amount of exposed moisture in the growing environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Hydroponics will effectively prevent wetting of the leaf surfaces which, in normal agriculture, provides the fungal spores with the perfect medium to proliferate. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Root zone temperatures are maintained as is ideal to ensure good growth of the plant. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  14. 14. Benefits of Hydroponic Cultivation- 5 <ul><li>Labour </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>All labour inputs associated with soil management, such as digging and weeding are eliminated with hydroponics. </li></ul><ul><li>Substrates being sterile and inert, do not influence or allow weeds to flourish. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  15. 15. Benefits of Hydroponic Cultivation- 6 <ul><li> Pest Management </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>The use of IPM can virtually eliminate the need to use toxic and expensive chemical pesticides. </li></ul><ul><li>Whereas IPM is much more difficult in Soil cultivation and calls for near total use of dangerous, life threatening chemical pesticides. </li></ul><ul><li>Diseases and pests from neighboring farms can cause spread of diseases in one’s field crops. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  16. 16. Benefits of Hydroponic Cultivation- 7 <ul><li>Kinds of Hydroponics </li></ul><ul><li>Simplified Hydroponics is a means for small and medium farmers to manage small facilities , up to, say, 1 or 2 acres for commercial gain. </li></ul><ul><li>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 fruits. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>When compared to Soil cultivation, Hydroponics reduces the need for farm equipment, reduced labor , reduction of crop losses, gives consistent and predictable yields. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  17. 17. Simplified Hydroponics Yield Data 12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India Expected daily vegetable production from a Micro-garden- Average range ( 2 kilos per day) Area 20 Sq.M   Vegetables Area in M2 Grams per Day Calories Proteins Fats Carbohydrates Carrot 2 113 50 1.2 0.22 12 Cucumber 2 226 30 1.6 0.3 6 Garlic 1 57 85  3.63  0.28  18.84 Ginger 1 57 46  1.04  0.43  10.13 Eggplant 1 113 37 0.94 0.26 9.2 Bitter 1 168 54 6.05 0.34 10.35 Gourd Green Bean 2 226 70 4.12 0.28 16 Onion 2 113 44 1.3 0.18 10 Peapod 1 113 47 3.16 0.23 9 Potato 2 226 180 4.78 0.24 40 Lady fingers (Okra) 1 168 50 3 0.34 7 Greens 2 226 58 6 0.46 12 Tomato 2 226 48 2 0.74 10 Total: 20 2032 668 34.15 3.59 170.52
  18. 18. <ul><li>Lettuce 300-400 Tons </li></ul><ul><li>Strawberries 50 Tons </li></ul><ul><li>Cucumber 200 Tons </li></ul><ul><li>Tomato 180-200 Tons </li></ul><ul><li>Bell Pepper 120-140 Tons </li></ul><ul><li>*Note: Figures are conservative. </li></ul><ul><li>You see and ask “Why” </li></ul><ul><li>I believe and say “Why Not?” </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India Commercial Hydroponics- Some Yields Tons/Acre/Year/Season
  19. 19. Hydroponic/Soil-less Greenhouses <ul><li> Plant grown in a Hydroponics Greenhouse… </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Can be protected from increasing and damaging UV radiation . </li></ul><ul><li>Offers the possibility of safe biological control of insect pests and diseases. </li></ul><ul><li>Uses Water that is reclaimed and reused . </li></ul><ul><li>Allows nutrients to be reclaimed, re-balanced and re-used . </li></ul><ul><li>Can be protected from unpredictable weather patterns . </li></ul><ul><li>Have a good root system that is not at risk from contaminants and diseases. </li></ul><ul><li>Make efficient use of labour , which is increasingly expensive. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be grown to take full advantage of their genetic potential </li></ul><ul><li>Produce outstanding crops by using optimum nutrient formulations. </li></ul><ul><li>Off season production possible when market prices are highest. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  20. 20. Summary of the Benefits <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced water consumption   </li></ul><ul><li>Improved Produce Quality </li></ul><ul><li>Increased Yields and Growth Rates </li></ul><ul><li>Longer Shelf Life </li></ul><ul><li>Less labour inputs . </li></ul><ul><li>Higher Value Crops </li></ul><ul><li>  Extended Growing Season </li></ul><ul><li>  H appier Workers </li></ul><ul><li>Lower Labour Costs </li></ul><ul><li>Pests and Diseases </li></ul><ul><li>No Soil – No Problem </li></ul><ul><li>Environment Control </li></ul><ul><li>Market Control </li></ul>
  21. 21. Possible Beneficiaries from Commercial Hydroponics <ul><li>Retail Chains </li></ul><ul><li>Private Investors </li></ul><ul><li>Public Sector Companies </li></ul><ul><li>Hotel Chains </li></ul><ul><li>Fast Food Chains </li></ul><ul><li>Processed Food Industry as Backward Integration </li></ul><ul><li>Railway Catering companies </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate Hospitals </li></ul><ul><li>FFV Exporters </li></ul><ul><li>Large land owners </li></ul><ul><li>NGO’s </li></ul><ul><li>Foreign Retail Companies (Outsourcing) </li></ul><ul><li>Defence establishments </li></ul><ul><li>Public-Private Partnerships. </li></ul><ul><li>* FFV-Fresh Fruits and Vegetables </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  22. 22. <ul><li>Commercial Hydroponic Horticulture </li></ul><ul><li>World Hydroponics –Acreage under cultivation </li></ul><ul><li>There has been massive growth in hydroponic cultivation in a number of forward thinking countries. </li></ul><ul><li>For instance, in Australia, the area under hydroponic crop production went from 155 to 2500 hectares from 1990 to 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>This is just the beginning. </li></ul><ul><li>The world commercial hydroponics industry has grown 4 to 5 fold in the last 10 years and is currently estimated at between 20,000 and 25,000 hectares with a farm gate value of US$6 to 8 Billion. </li></ul><ul><li> The new belief </li></ul><ul><li>The future lies in locally grown and sold produce limiting the ‘road miles’. </li></ul><ul><li>This method of growing our food is a more sustainable model than those currently practised. </li></ul><ul><li>The consumer is becoming increasingly concerned over health issues, environmental issues, even water consumption cost and availability……… these all are drivers for the further development of hydroponic growing techniques. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  23. 23. Hydroponics-Commercial Viability-Executive Summary <ul><li>Commercial Hydroponics Covers nearly 50000 Ha globally. </li></ul><ul><li>Main countries are Holland, Spain, Australia, USA, Canada, NZ, Italy, Canada, Mexico, China. </li></ul><ul><li>Main crops are Cucumbers, Tomato, Lettuce, Strawberry, Herbs, Capsicums, cut flowers etc but not limited to these alone. </li></ul><ul><li>Follows IPM. </li></ul><ul><li>Follows recycling methods. </li></ul><ul><li>Has market focus. </li></ul><ul><li>Is an industry model. </li></ul><ul><li>Most producers are in cluster production and have co-operatives for selling produce. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  24. 24. Government support <ul><li>Has government support in many developed countries. India is yet to wake up to this reality. Even neighbor Pakistan has adopted Hydroponics cultivation with major government support. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  25. 25. Viable production Units <ul><li>As a thumb rule- in the order of one acre or more. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  26. 26. General costs of setting up Hydroponic Greenhouses <ul><li>Between 150-200 USD per Sq.m in developed countries. </li></ul><ul><li>In India available at 45-55 USD per Sq.m </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  27. 27. Skill Required to Handle Hydroponic Systems <ul><li>Same or a little more than soil systems </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  28. 28. Commercial success is linked to… <ul><li>Establishment of venture in realistic economic framework. </li></ul><ul><li>Attention to market requirements before start up. </li></ul><ul><li>Realistic expectation of prices, yields, labor requirements. </li></ul><ul><li>Experience in prior horticultural pursuits. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  29. 29. Is it a magical production system? <ul><li>No. Not Plug and Play. </li></ul><ul><li>Needs diligence and devotion. </li></ul><ul><li>Is not forgiving. </li></ul><ul><li>Needs skill but achievable. </li></ul><ul><li>Over confidence can kill crops. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  30. 30. Basics needed to start a Hydroponics Industry in India. <ul><li>Capital costs. </li></ul><ul><li>Trained Manpower. </li></ul><ul><li>Education required. </li></ul><ul><li>Attention to shifting market demands. </li></ul><ul><li>Attention to crop growing or cultural practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of IPM. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of Environment Controls in GH. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of Climate Controls. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of Bio-friendly insects. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  31. 31. Is the Hydroponics Industry Expanding? <ul><li>Yes </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  32. 32. Do we need leadership? <ul><li>Yes, we need to convene an association in India for Commercial Hydroponic Growers even before we start the first commercial system in our country. </li></ul><ul><li>We have a student of Simplified Hydroponics already having an association called Indian Hydroponics Pioneers Association. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  33. 33. Do we need to formulate Industry standards? <ul><li>Yes, we need to use foreign Hydroponic experts to start with. This is an absolute must as there are no resource people in India at this time. Industry standards will be established as time goes by and more Indians adopt this kind of cultivation. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  34. 34. How is Hydroponic Produce marketed normally? <ul><li>It is marketed more on the quality and consistency, rather than the method of production. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  35. 35. Hydroponics- A Commercial Production System <ul><li>Hydroponics as an agricultural production system includes those activities, which have the potential to displace conventional soil based horticultural production . </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  36. 36. History of Hydroponic Commercial Use <ul><li>Has been used in a commercial sense by the US military since the 1940’s and by the NASA since the 1960’s. </li></ul><ul><li>1980’s and 90’s saw greatest commercial growth of hydroponics. </li></ul><ul><li>Now robotics is also employed for planting, harvesting and packaging of produce. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  37. 37. Types of Growing Systems <ul><li>Indoor </li></ul><ul><li>Outdoor </li></ul><ul><li>Depends upon the environment. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  38. 38. Types of disposal of nutrient waste <ul><li>Run to waste (OPEN) </li></ul><ul><li>Recycled.(RECIRCULATING) </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  39. 39. Media Types <ul><li>Water Based for short term crops like lettuce, leafy vegetables, herbs. </li></ul><ul><li>Media Based like Perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, coir peat, gravel, sawdust etc for long term vegetable and flower crops. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  40. 40. Types of Systems <ul><li>Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) </li></ul><ul><li>Ebb and Flow </li></ul><ul><li>Flood and Drain </li></ul><ul><li>Media Based such as grow bags using drip method. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  41. 41. Global Hydroponic Industry <ul><li>Countries practicing are Netherlands, Spain, Canada, USA, Mexico, France, Japan, Australia, NZ, Israel, UK, S. Africa, Italy, Finland, Korea, China, Greece, Brazil, Taiwan, Singapore, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar. </li></ul><ul><li>Pakistan has joined the bandwagon recently. </li></ul><ul><li>India also, but only some 30 ha in floriculture. </li></ul><ul><li>More than 120000 ha under GH Hydroponic production around the world. Total value of produce is 10 Billion USD. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  42. 42. International trends in the Industry <ul><li>Internationalization of supply of FFV. </li></ul><ul><li>Producers must join this system for survival. </li></ul><ul><li>Forward linkages with Intl food companies. </li></ul><ul><li>Producers working in clusters. (Info sharing and marketing cost sharing) </li></ul><ul><li>International rationalization of production and standards. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  43. 43. Opportunity India <ul><li>Production and labor costs in developed countries increasing thereby need to import high quality cheaper produce is increasing. </li></ul><ul><li>India has rich climatic conditions positioning us favorably to market such produce. </li></ul><ul><li>Labor costs in India as well as inputs makes India an ideal destination for food outsourcing. After IT it’s AT!!! </li></ul><ul><li>Indian producers can address both domestic as well as International markets such as ME/EU/USA/Far East. </li></ul><ul><li>Has intelligent manpower. Can learn fast the operating protocols. </li></ul><ul><li>A country that can produce super-computers, satellites can definitely adopt Hydroponics easily in the author’s view. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  44. 44. Marketing Channels for Hydroponic Produce <ul><li>Wholesale Channels </li></ul><ul><li>Retail Channels </li></ul><ul><li>Major buyers will be supermarket chains/Export markets. </li></ul><ul><li>Many producers have formed cooperatives to help sell their produce. </li></ul><ul><li>Producers specialize in one or two types of produce mainly and have full control over their produce. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  45. 45. Marketing of Produce as Hydroponic <ul><li>Mostly sold as Hydroponic produce at retail level. </li></ul><ul><li>At wholesale level sold on basis of quality, consistency and labeled as “ Vine-ripened ” or “ Living Lettuce ” etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Hydroponic Produce must emphasize on “Clean and Green”. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  46. 46. Price Premium on Hydroponic Produce <ul><li>Should not compete with soil grown produce. </li></ul><ul><li>Usually gets a better price based on looks, texture, taste, consistency on daily basis, high nutrition value, reliable supply year round etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Extent to which premiums are realized are based on seasonal volumes, marketing, presentation (Branding), product quality. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  47. 47. Export Sales <ul><li>Sales opportunities abound from Indian producers due to better production costing achievable. </li></ul><ul><li>Markets are in USA, EU, Far and Middle East. </li></ul><ul><li>India has excellent connectivity to above by land, sea and air. </li></ul><ul><li>Freight costs from India are high at this time and with better governmental support can be alleviated. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  48. 48. Seasonality of production <ul><li>Hydroponic Greenhouses are capable of producing year round which includes off season vegetables and herbs due to controlled conditions. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  49. 49. Impact on Environment & Human Health <ul><li>Newer Hydroponic systems are moving from run-to-waste to nutrient recycling systems which is good for the environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Newer Greenhouses have the ability to blend aesthetically with the surrounds thus reducing “Visual-Pollution”. </li></ul><ul><li>Residue testing is being done by most growers to ensure that there are no excess residues of nutrients at time of harvest. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  50. 50. SWOT ANALYSIS- Commercial Hydroponics <ul><li>Strengths </li></ul><ul><li>Makes any land with good water source useful for production. </li></ul><ul><li>Nutrient and pH controls very accurate and effective. </li></ul><ul><li>High Yields from lesser spaces. </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitates the easy adoption of IPM. Climate certainty. </li></ul><ul><li>Root zone temperature is maintained. </li></ul><ul><li>Effective drainage and availability of root level Oxygen. </li></ul><ul><li>Production possible in difficult environments. </li></ul><ul><li>Some crops need closed environments. Cross Pollination avoided. </li></ul><ul><li>Needs less land to grow more. Conserves water by lower usage.. </li></ul><ul><li>Contd……. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  51. 51. Strengths….. <ul><li>Produce can get premium prices. </li></ul><ul><li>Produce appeals to discerning customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Can target niche markets. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be set up in urban areas without disturbing the ecology. </li></ul><ul><li>Less labor means lesser costs. </li></ul><ul><li>As hydroponic growers increase, dedicated supply chains will be established. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a market potential for hydroponic produce. </li></ul><ul><li>Growers can specialize in just one product. </li></ul><ul><li>Hydroponics help is now available in India. </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated Hydroponic Food Parks are a near term reality. </li></ul><ul><li>Research centers in Hydroponics can help create and disseminate protocols and cultural practices for vegetables, herbs, flowers and aromatic and medicinal plants. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  52. 52. Weaknesses <ul><li>No industry association or bodies in hydroponics yet, save the ISH, in Bangalore. </li></ul><ul><li>Higher Capex. </li></ul><ul><li>Needs highly effective marketing. </li></ul><ul><li>Growers must specialize and carve a niche for themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>Branding is a must for success. </li></ul><ul><li>The technology is quite new to India, but help is available. </li></ul><ul><li>Needs more diligence and devotion. </li></ul><ul><li>Manpower at the moment is virtually available, save for a few who have learnt and practice Simplified Hydroponics. </li></ul><ul><li>Cannot compete with soil grown produce and not comparable “apple to apple”. </li></ul><ul><li>No universities teach Hydroponics in India. No dedicated research yet. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  53. 53. Opportunities <ul><li>To promote hydroponic produce, where appropriate, as low or no chemical use and sustainable. </li></ul><ul><li>Chance to develop and certify hydroponics as organic. </li></ul><ul><li>Hydroponic growers can form cooperatives to achieve better returns. </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to brand, package and sell produce as clean, healthy and unique. </li></ul><ul><li>Phasing out the use of Methyl Bromide will call for technologies that use low chemical, low water use systems like Hydroponics. </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity abounds in creation of more growth products such as special gingers, saffron, turmeric etc which are cash crops. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  54. 54. Threats <ul><li>Hydroponic produce must not compete on price, but on quality. </li></ul><ul><li>Certain soil grown produce are being marketed vigorously and may be a threat to hydroponic produce. Like Calyx-On Tomato for example. </li></ul><ul><li>Imports from even cheaper countries of hydroponic produce could be a threat, but none seen as such in near future. </li></ul><ul><li>Some consumers have this perception that Hydroponics is unnatural. </li></ul><ul><li>Growers must organize themselves with unity and make lasting supply arrangements to be in profitable markets. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  55. 55. How to get the best from Hydroponics <ul><li>Growth is being driven by demand for safe, hygienic foods. </li></ul><ul><li>Form Selling and Marketing Co-ops to achieve market critical mass. </li></ul><ul><li>Induction of Corporate interest in production and marketing. </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-site operations, with full time employees, close to the markets. </li></ul><ul><li>Study tours of countries heavily in the field of Hydroponics. </li></ul><ul><li>Adopt best practice, use of IPM, use of re-circulating systems. </li></ul><ul><li>Product value addition by way of smart packaging and first stage transformation. </li></ul><ul><li>Larger Hydroponic units must be adopted in order to supply consistently produce the whole time. Big supermarket chains, star hotels, corporate hospitals need this assurance, which when given assures a steady market. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  56. 56. Hydroponics in India-Present Status <ul><li>To the best of our knowledge…. </li></ul><ul><li>Hydroponics is being practiced by some floriculturists in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka states presently. </li></ul><ul><li>The other Hydroponics being practiced is Simplified Hydroponics learnt by individuals, corporates, NGO’s etc from the Institute of Simplified Hydroponics, Bangalore. References are available on request. There are other individual hobbyists too. </li></ul>12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  57. 57. Requirements for a commercial hydroponics system <ul><li>Capital: Hydroponic systems are high in Capex. </li></ul><ul><li>Location and Siting is very important. </li></ul><ul><li>Climatic conditions in area. </li></ul><ul><li>Water must be of good quality in chosen area. Must be tested prior before buying land and must be the perennial source. Chemical quality is vital. </li></ul><ul><li>Choice of right crop and a potential market. </li></ul><ul><li>Proximity to markets. </li></ul><ul><li>Logistics involved. </li></ul><ul><li>Good Agronomists selected prior with ground level experience. No theory masters. </li></ul><ul><li>Topography of the land/ slope characteristics. </li></ul><ul><li>Wind direction and speed, temperature range, frost frequency, rainfall, humidity are all important considerations. </li></ul>
  58. 58. 3 types of successful commercial Hydroponic operations <ul><li>Type 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Boutique style growers with a niche market close by. </li></ul><ul><li>Produces special produce. Eg. Culinary/Medicinal Herbs </li></ul><ul><li>Type 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Family farms that are part of a larger cooperative. </li></ul><ul><li>Product sold by cooperative and achieves greater economies of scale. </li></ul><ul><li>Type 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate farms with investors who are not in day to day operations but left to a central management. Has a production sufficiently to capitalise on economies of scale. </li></ul>
  59. 59. Risks & Reasons for Failure <ul><li>Venture not established in a realistic economic framework like manageable loan repayments, cash flow etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Selection of system/crop/markets/correct management not done. </li></ul><ul><li>Crop production management inadequate. </li></ul><ul><li>Yield and quality did not meet budget projections. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of diligence on part of the crew. </li></ul><ul><li>Non adherence to growing protocols. </li></ul><ul><li>Insufficient attention to marketing. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of necessary labour. </li></ul><ul><li>Incorrect pricing of produce. </li></ul><ul><li>Product not tailored as per demand. </li></ul>
  60. 60. Profitability is Linked to…….. <ul><li>Industry profitability is directly linked to… </li></ul><ul><li>Production scale, increasing returns to increasing size. Ability to supply promised amount with quality and consistency. </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity to Value add and/or.. </li></ul><ul><li>Find and exploit a unique and high return/value market niche. </li></ul>
  61. 61. Features of a Commercially Successful Producer <ul><li>Ability to learn and rapidly expand operations after learning curve is completed and markets established. </li></ul><ul><li>Willingness to seek and share information on production and markets to compliment each other’s strengths. </li></ul><ul><li>Working in cooperation with other growers and institutions like ISH, India. </li></ul><ul><li>Effective utilization of government grants and subsidies. </li></ul><ul><li>Take part in field trips to explore export markets. </li></ul><ul><li>Must try to attain the highest possible world standards like USDA/EUREPGAP etc. </li></ul><ul><li>A scale of production that permits cost efficiencies and must be of interest to major corporates. </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to supply year round. </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to pack and sell hygienic produce and value add. </li></ul><ul><li>Maximum use of IPM. </li></ul><ul><li>Constant R&D is a must to improve systems and processes and least wastages. </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive pricing. </li></ul><ul><li>Success must be focussed up on market needs rather than just technological innovation. </li></ul>
  62. 62. Commercial Hydroponics 12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  63. 63. Simplified Hydroponics 12/09/11 Presentation is copyright of ISH, India
  64. 64. Live Commercial Hydroponics Projects-India* by HGTIPL Bangalore 1. One acre Strawberry Hydroponics at Bangalore 2. One acre Lettuce and Herbs Project-Coimbatore 3. 2 Acres project for Capsicum and Strawberry, at Lusaka, Zambia, Africa
  65. 65. Word of Caution <ul><li>This presentation is only intended as a broad indicator of industry profitability and to provide a check list to potential investors. </li></ul><ul><li>It is not intended as an endorsement of any particular system or enterprise. </li></ul><ul><li>Every investor is advised to do his own study before investing. </li></ul>
  66. 66. Conclusion <ul><li>The Commercial Hydroponics industry is a successful industry and is rapidly expanding. </li></ul><ul><li>The market is larger than opined as produce is sold on quality rather than production method. </li></ul><ul><li>Hydroponics cannot displace bulk commodity items. </li></ul><ul><li>The industry is expected to grow exponentially as conditions of soil growing is becoming difficult. </li></ul><ul><li>Government intervention and university interest can propel the use of this technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Our Iceberg is melting, Let’s do something…QUICKLY.. </li></ul>
  67. 67. Hydroponics Seminar in Gujarat <ul><li>ISH India will hold a Seminar on 28 th Mar 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Venue: Country Inns and Suites Hotel, near SAL Hospital. </li></ul><ul><li>Sessions: Three </li></ul><ul><li>Sessions timings: 9-11 am, 12-2 pm, 3-5 pm </li></ul><ul><li>You can register at this seminar itself. </li></ul><ul><li>Entry Fees : Rupees Fifty (50/-) only. </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Person: Ms Sangeeta Mob 0-94806-14645 </li></ul>
  68. 68. Dhanyavaad and Jai Hind