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Hydroponics in India: Know the Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydroponics Farming

Hydroponics is a branch of hydroculture, in which plants are grown without soil by using water solvent which consists of minerals nutrient solution. Terrestrial plants may be grown with  their roots only, roots are  exposed to the nutritious liquid, or roots may be  supported physically by a medium like gravel.

Plants are also grown through a process called photosynthesis, in which plants use sunlight and a chemical inside their leaves called chlorophyll to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen, as shown in reaction.

6CO2 + 6H2O C6H12O6(Glucose)+ 6O2

The nutrients we use in hydroponic systems may come from different sources, such as  fish excrement, duck manure, or chemical fertilisers.

Advantages of Hydroponics

1. Plantation without soil

We can grow plants in places where the land is limited, doesn't exist, or is contaminated. In early time period , Hydroponics was successfully technique used to supply fresh vegetables for troops in Wake Island. It has been considered as the future farming to grow foods for astronauts in the space by NASA.

2. Better use of space and location

All that plants need are provided and maintained in a system, you can grow plants in a small apartment, bedrooms or kitchen as long as you have some spaces.
Roots of plants usually expand and spread out in search of foods, and oxygen in the soil but in case of Hydroponics, roots are sunk in a tank full of oxygenated nutrient solution and are directly in contact with vital minerals. This means that you can grow your plants closer, and consequently huge space savings.

3. Climate control

Hydroponic growers can have total control on climate, temperature, humidity, light, the composition of the air. Which means you can grow foods all year, regardless of the season. Farmers can produce foods at the right time to maximize their profits.

4. Water saving

Plants grown by the process of  hydroponically can use 10% of water, as compared to one grown on the field because water is recirculated, in this method. Plants will take up water they need, while run-off water will be captured and return to the system. Water loss in this system will only occur in two forms - evaporation and leaks from the system.

5. Use of nutrientsYou can have a 100% control of the nutrients (foods) that plants need in this method. Before planting, growers can check what are plants requirement and what amounts of nutrients needed at particular stages and at what percentage it should be mixed with water.

6. Better growth rate

Do hydroponic plants grow faster than in soil? Yes,  because you can set conditions favourable to the plants growth like temperature, lights, moisture, and especially nutrients. As plants are placed in favourable conditions, nutrients are provided at the sufficient amounts and come into direct contacts with the root systems. Therefore, plants do not waste valuable energy in search for diluted nutrients in the soil and put their complete focus on growth.

Disadvantages and Challenges

1. It requires your time and commitment

Plants grown in soil can be left on its own for days and weeks, and they can survive in a short time. Nature and soils will help in regulating things if something is not balancing. But its not same in hydroponics. Plants will die more quickly, if you will not take proper care of them because plants are depended on you for their survival.

2. Knowledge and Experiences

The system which you will use, will run on many types of  equipments which will require expertise for the use of device, what plants you can grown  and how they will survive and flourish in a soilless environment. If you make mistakes in setting up the systems , it will affect your  plants growth or you end up your whole progress.

3. Water and electricity risks

In this system, mostly water and electricity is used. so, Beware of electricity in a combination of water in close vicinity. Ensure safety precautions first when working with water and electric equipment.

4. System failure threats

If you are using electricity to manage the whole system. So you need to take preliminary actions for a power blackout or dimout, this system will stop working if there is no supply of  electricity, and plants will dry out quickly or even die in several hours. Hence, keep a backup power source.

So, these were the advantages and disadvantages of hydroponics.



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Krishi Jagran Marketing
Krishi Jagran