In Hyderabad, Telangana, Harishchandra Reddy is a successful hydroponic farmer. He always wanted to provide customers with high-quality greens at a reasonable price. He learned about many applied sciences to strengthen agriculture while in school, and on an agricultural tour, he and his classmates were escorted to a hydroponic farm where they defined the various ways used to develop greens.
He has always wanted to create his own hydroponic farm since then. He worked for a year after finishing his education and then decided to quit. Despite the fact that he was happy with his job, he wished to grow greens using hydroponic farming and to start his own business.
So, he studied hydroponics and other advanced agricultural technologies for six months while raising the capital needed to establish the farm. He was aware that the first investment would be significant, so he took his time gathering the money he needs from various sources. Following that, he immediately began establishing his hydroponics farm and began earning a huge sum of money which is upto 300 crores per year. Here is how he did it with his profitable hydroponic farming model.
A poly house should be built to grow greens in a huge hydroponic system. Unlike traditional farming, which requires growing crops on land where we can not control the weather, poly house allows you to grow greens in a controlled environment. He also installed three large fans on the polyhouse’s walls to expel excess heat during the summers. The size of the polyhouse should be determined by the number of greens you want to cultivate.
Harishchandra advises not to limit yourself to the size and value of the polyhouse. Even if the initial investment is high, when you recover your one-time investment cost through revenue earned, you will have more income in the long run. Keep in mind that when it comes to these advanced techniques of cultivating greens, the quality of the materials in which you want to grow them should be high. This might be worth a little more than the traditional agricultural follow. However, as the years pass, you may see a significant increase in your revenue from producing high-quality crops.
Harishchandra cultivates only inexperienced leafy greens on his hydroponic farm and says that using hydroponic strategies, these crops may be harvested within a month. This is a brief interval. When all of the climatic conditions are satisfied with a consistent supply of vitamins, any plant develops significantly faster. In these conditions, inexperienced leafy greens, in particular, develop more faster.
Furthermore, there may be an oversupply of high-quality inexperienced leafy greens on the market. Harishchandra decided to grow inexperienced leafy greens on his hydroponic farm after considering these characteristics.
Hydroponic Farming System To Choose For Growing Greens
Here are some of the favorite hydroponic systems employed by Harishchandra.
Employing Linear NFT Channels
That is the most significant and straightforward approach for producing greens in hydroponics. This method involves growing greens in long rectangular channels that allow water to flow. The water that circulates through these channels must be rich in vitamins. As we now know, we employ only water as a traditional medium in hydroponics, thus the nutrient quality and quantity in the water we’re utilizing must be excellent, as Harishchandra stated. These long rectangular channels have equal spacing between the holes in the center.
Each pipe contains 20 holes. Netpods with a 2-inch dimension are saved in these holes. netpods are miniature pots with several holes. When flowing in rectangular channels via pipes, water may easily pass through these perforations. These netpods protect a plant’s roots by keeping them in touch with water to a certain depth. While the water runs down the long channels, it is always in contact with the plant’s roots, allowing crops to absorb vitamins from the water.
When first starting to domesticate a seedling, clay balls should be utilized in netpods to help the seedlings. Because hydroponics does not require soil, light-weight clay balls should be used to provide support until they reach a certain growth period.
Lay balls are formed by heating clay balls at 1300 level centigrade, and they become mild and laborious after this process. Harishchandra was determined to cultivate purple spinach in the NFT technique. When you examine plant development, you will see that the roots develop much more slowly than the shoots.
This is because we provide the plant with sufficient oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other essential vitamins to the roots in a stress-free environment, resulting in faster plant development and less root development. If all of the vitamins necessary by this plant are provided, root growth may be significantly reduced. You should just provide the vitamins that the plant needs, and no more. Also, by employing hydroponics, we may minimize the amount of water used by recycling the same water while adding adequate vitamins.
Because we only use water in this procedure, the ailments are much reduced. When soil is used as a growing medium, various bacteria can affect the plant, reducing production or necessitating excessive upkeep and care. We use pesticides and insecticides on crops, which may have an impact on their excellent quality when grown in soil.
However, because the growth medium is water, there is no such disadvantage in this procedure. Also, while monitoring might be difficult, it must be stringent.
His hydroponic farm is made up of many models of linear NFT systems. Each unit is divided into three subunits, each of which has 16 linear pipes or channels. According to Harishchandra, you may match up to 20 crops in netpods in each pipe. This technology makes use of rust-free stands.
Deepwater Culture System
They employ a large tub instead of pipes in the deepwater tradition system. His huge tub has holes in it where we may place netpods and grow produce. His hydroponics system is designed for vegetables with deep roots. In deep water systems, regular monitoring is a must. You may assess the plant’s condition by looking at its roots. If the roots are white, the plant is healthy; if they’re just turning black or brown, you’re probably making mistakes when cultivating the crops in a hydroponics deep water tradition system.
If the water is clear, the plant has enough dissolved oxygen and vitamins. If the roots turn black or brown, Harishchandra believes there is a problem with the pH in your water. If the roots turn brown or black, you may treat them by adjusting the pH value in your water or monitoring the TDS (total dissolved solids) level in the water you’re using.
On his farm, he grows inexperienced spinach in a deep water tradition system. Because conventional spinach has long roots sprouting from the stems, he claims the deep water tradition method is better for growing it.
Vertical Hydroponic Farming
People that have a limited amount of space can use this hydroponics farming method. This includes aligning water lines or channels one above the other and spacing them properly. Harishchandra grows mint on his hydroponic farm through vertical farming. He built a pyramid out of pipes, one above the other, to ensure that each crop received enough light. According to Harishchandra, if the channels are placed one above the other, the crop would suffocate and die due to inadequate daylight.
He believes that vertical hydroponic farming is the best method for growing mint. This is because you’ll just need to chop the stems while harvesting, and the plant will grow back to normal in another month. He stated that one of the most successful and greatest strategies for developing crops is to attract more customers. Make sure the shadow of one pipe does not fall on the opposing pipe. This may be avoided by designing it in a pyramid form. There are 320 crops in each unit in his farming model.
Everything is the same as a conventional NFT system, with the exception of the design of the units. Diseases are far less prevalent in hydroponic farming. Most essential ailments will be avoided if these crops are grown in a protected environment with water as the growth medium. However, crops can be attacked by fungus if there is a use of water and the water administration is not well managed. In this case, crop trimming is necessary to prevent the disease from spreading.
To cultivate healthy crops, the right temperature and humidity must be maintained. Aphids, thrips, and other pests can harm these crops as well. Harishchandra uses IPM (Integrated pest management) techniques to combat this, such as using yellow and blue stickers to deter aphids and thrips. He also released some environmentally beneficial bugs, such as ladybirds.
These insects eat the harmful insects and their eggs that reside under the leaves of the crops. A ladybug can eat about 300 eggs every day. We can handle pests in an environmentally friendly manner without using pesticides and insecticides. Harishchandra’s farm produces natural and healthful products.
First published on: 09 May 2022, 01:03 IST