Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite, gravel, etc
As we all know that food security is the major challenge we are facing today. There are several constraints for food production such as non-availability of adequate water resources especially ground water, land fragmentation, lower literacy level of farmers, lack of adequate infrastructure, conversion of agriculture land into residential projects and lack of adoption of technologies to achieve better productivity of crops.
Moreover, the output/unit land utilised when compared with the global average indicates that we need to improve a lot. Keeping all this in mind, it would be a strategic move for able entrepreneurs to start exploring the economics of grain trade. Hydroponics is the promising practice that can help us produce yield more than 4 to 5 times of what we are producing today.
The capital intensive nature of this technology is the major impediment in its early adoption by willing entrepreneurs. But the return on this practice are proven and are long term in nature. The cost of setting up HP setup/sqm is close to Rs 3000. With this rate the cost of setting up HP plant for 1 Acre is close to Rs 1.5 cr.
Apart from that it needs trained labour and proper vigilance for its successful execution. The potential of this technology to use less water for growing crops in a eco-friendly manner (less use of pesticides, etc), this can fetch great returns in the market.