Hydroponics Workshop To Take Place in Chennai
P T Usha March 17, 2018
Chennai: We already have wireless headphones, foamless toothpaste, queueless banking… here comes soil-less farming method.
Two farming companies – Harvest 4 Health and Suregrow Brand Penny’s Worth Technologies – are conducting a hydroponics workshop in Chennai tomorrow.
People will be shown the videos and explained the techniques adopted in this technology-based farming and the event will be hosted by WSquare, that aims to bring women back to work.
Talking to News Today, Harvest 4 Health co-owner Siraj, says, “The workshop will be teaching techniques involved in farming methods like hydroponics, aeroponics, and aquaponics. The videos and pictures of our working models will be presented in the workshop. Also, we will be offering an invitation to those attending the workshop to the 1000 sq. feet hydroponics farm of ours at ECR, so that they can get a better idea about the technology.”
Explaining about the basic method of hydroponics, Siraj says, “This is an alternative farming methodology to a traditional farming method which does not depend on soil as a medium. This can be called the technology-based farming method as it replaces one medium with another. In this, the soil is replaced. Hydro – water, ponics- working – waterworks’ is the basic ideology of this kind of farming.”
He says, “There is another method called aquaponics which works in a different environment and methodologies where we generate manure and natural fertilizers from fishes. This can be assumed with a simple model like growing plants in fish tanks. Along with the nutrients present naturally, in the water, fishes’ excreta adds as the best manure for the plants.”
Does the system restrict itself to a small area? “This can be done on a large scale on commercial requirements or on a small scale in 100 or 150 sq ft where we can grow vegetables on the terrace. If you are living in a gated community a 1,000 sq ft farm will be good enough to serve everyone,” he says.
“Along with the vegetables this kind of farming is well-suited for growing a variety of greens. Interestingly, we can even grow exotic crops like broccoli. This can be done by controlling the growing factors like pH value of the water, controlling the temperature. With this method, the produce quantity will be more than in traditional farming,” says Siraj.
“Other than water nutrients, chemical nutrients like urea, magnesium, potassium, etc., will be let in manually in a correct value with a coir as a medium. Besides the quantitative benefits, the quality perspective has a bigger advantage in this system. Since the crops are grown in an enclosed system there is no use for pesticides like we use in traditional farming. It is not totally eradicated, but is less when compared,” he informs.
Siraj adds, “In a farming land, the distribution of minerals and other nutrients may differ from place to place whereas in a controlled hydroponics system, the distribution is equal. Recently, we successfully grew 800 to 1,000 bunches of greens through this process in our farm. Also, the time taken for growth is also less – compared to traditional farming – with the growth rate being 25 to 50 percent faster.”
CAN CITY MANAGE?
Hydroponics does not require much water. Just like drip irrigation system, the water is given in small quantity for an elongated period. It just takes two buckets of water a day for a 1,000 sq ft farm. However, this may vary with the type of crops and environmental factors. Also, the employment of sprinkler/fogger system can use water effectively.
Asked about the target audience, he says, “Anyone who wants to know about hydroponics, to those who want to take up farming, anyone who wants to grow exotic crops are welcome to the workshop tomorrow. We also have a lecture by Prof Nagendiran, an agricultural scientist who has vast knowledge in this field.”
WHERE IS IT?
The event will take place tomorrow between 2 and 4 pm, WSquare, Adyar. For registration call 044 48540085.
What is hydroponics?
Explaining about the basic method of hydroponics, Siraj says, “This is an alternative farming methodology to traditional farming method which does not depend on soil as a medium. This can be called technology-based farming method as it replaces one medium with another. In this, the soil is replaced. Hydro – water, ponics- working – ‘waterworks’ is the basic ideology of this kind of farming.”