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An Introduction to Hydroponic Farming

Hydroponic is a term derived from two Greek words ‘Hydro’ and ‘Ponos’ that translates to ‘water’ and ‘work’. Hydroponics is a farming process that uses only water with essential nutrients needed to grow plants. This concept might sound a little new and complicated to you, but this method is as old as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the ancient seven wonders of the world. Later an American scientist William Frederick Gericke in the 1930s publicized a soil-less technique to grow plants and The United States for their benefit had used it during the second world war to feed their soldiers fresh veggies.


What Is Hydroponics?

Basically, in Hydroponic farming the plants are not dependent on soil for their growth, instead water does the work by providing essential nutrients, hydration, and oxygen that further leads to their healthy and fast growth. Almost all types of plants can be grown such as herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers with this process. The crops are grown in a controlled environment in special planters that have a running supply of nutrient-rich solutions.
The crops benefit from this process as the roots don’t have to search for the required nutrition as compared to soil-based farming. The roots of the plants are directly exposed to the water mixture, so the plants can concentrate on their health and growth without losing extra energy. The result is healthier leaves, more fruits, and blooming flowers. The Hydroponic farming technique of immersing the roots of the plants directly with the nutrition mixed water has proven to be more effective than the old traditional style of soil-based organic farming.


Why Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is soil-less farming that is done in an indoor facility; thus, you can produce crops anywhere in the world at any time of the year with a usually high production rate while using fewer resources. Hydroponic cultivation is environment-friendly, human-friendly, and sustainable at the same time. One of the great advantages is the amount of water it conserves. If we compare it to traditional farming, Hydroponics saves around 80-90% of water, which is the need of the hour. It can benefit the regions with the problems of water scarcity, and even those places can produce higher yields.
Hydroponics is far better than soil-based farming and can be said to be even superior to organic farming. Soil-based farming uses chemical fertilizers and pesticides that are quite harmful to the environment and dangerous to human health. Organic Farming has a better ideology and doesn’t believe in using inorganic chemicals but still, there is a risk of an outbreak of several diseases like E-Coli and Salmonella. Therefore, Hydroponic farming is a game-changer because as it is an indoor activity it becomes difficult for pests to attack and neither do weeds grow out in heavy numbers. Thus, reducing the need for pesticides and herbicides. All you get is high in nutrition, clean, healthy food, and a safer environment.
In organic farming, it is usually hard to figure out the poor growth cycle of plants as there can be many reasons for its occurrence. There could be a pest problem, or harsh weather conditions, or any other nutritional deficiency. In the Hydroponic system, it is easy to find negative variables such as plant disease or poor plant growth, as you are aware of the conditions in which the plants grow. All you have to do is ace the perfectly balanced formula and the results will be far superior.


Farming Of the future

Hydroponics is the future of farming and proving its benefits, it needs to be established as a major farming practice in our country. Not only it solves the food scarcity problems but instead goes one step ahead to help in water conservation, soil erosion, and saves a lot of land space that could be used for other useful infrastructures. Of Course, there are challenges in investing in a huge hydroponic system and even a basic human error can be fatal for the quality of the crops. But the problems faced will be quite less in number as compared to the traditional farming methods.


Hydroponics and Its Scope in Uttarakhand

We are well aware of the difficulties that we face when it comes to the cultivation of produce in the hilly states. Lack of water, rapidly changing physical landscape, steep slopes, natural calamities make it very difficult for local farmers to maximize their productivity, rather they face insecurities and losses which forces them to give up farming and sell their lands to make up for their agricultural loss.
With proper training and knowledge, they can easily learn how to shift towards hydroponic farming. As mentioned above this method, if practiced with a little bit of care can provides benefits and huge returns for both humans and the environment hence creating the most required balance to promote a sustainable environment.

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