Since a significant amount of the world’s cropland is diminishing and food shortage is affecting countries all over the world newer farming techniques like aeroponics and hydroponics allow crops to be produced where traditional farming cannot.
What is Aeroponics?
Growing crops in the air is what aeroponics is all about! Since the plant’s roots are hung freely in an open root-zone environment, there is no medium in an aeroponic system. An aeroponics system provides the right amount of water, nutrients, and air to the growing chamber. Aeroponics is the process of growing plants in the lack of soil, in the presence of air, or in a mist.
How is Aeroponics different from Hydroponics?
People generally get confused between aeroponic farming and hydroponic farming, another type of farming that has grown incredibly popular in recent years. Although none of the technique requires soil, they are comparable in that nutrients are given to plants in quite different ways. In hydroponics, plants can either be constantly suspended in water or supplied by an irregular water flow. Plants grown in an aeroponic system are never submerged in water; instead, a mist is sprayed into their roots, providing them with nutrients.
Each technique has a distinct name because of this essential difference. The Greek words aero, which means “air,” and ponos, which means “work,” are the origins of the word “aeroponics.” Contrarily, hydroponics is a phrase that translates to “working water” and comes from the Greek word hydro, which means water.
Benefits of Aeroponics
Compared to soil-based farming, vertical farming uses 80-90% less water and can produce more nutritious food.
As a result, more plants can be grown at the same time as it takes to plant roots to grow in soil.
Aeroponics is a new technology that allows you to grow your own food without the need for huge amounts of land under cultivation. To experience the beauty of aeroponics and to meet your daily food needs, you can even build small aeroponic units in your living room or balcony.
It removes carbon dioxide from the environment and manages its concentration inside the system. Aeroponics also has an impact on how rapidly plants produce oxygen in their leaves, enabling them to grow.
The global reach of Aeroponics
The farming method seems to be gaining popularity all across the globe. In a survey of 114 aeroponic business start-ups, farms throughout North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and India were discovered.
Due to the growing popularity of organic food and the need for a disease-free environment in agriculture, the demand for the aeroponics industry is expected to increase quickly throughout the forecast period. The use of technology in farming makes it possible to monitor plant development and harvesting, which further promotes market expansion.
How India adopted this farming technique?
With the rapid increase of this modern farming technique all across the globe, Indian companies and farmers took the initiative to give it a try by growing potato seeds (tubers) using the Aeroponics method. Now this technique of growing potatoes is widely used in India. Hanging roots are used in potato farming technology to supply nutrients to the plant.
The roots of the potato plant develop below the surface of the soil in a sealed environment, with the plant pointing upwards. At the bottom, there are water fountains that mix nutrients and deliver them to the roots. In effect, the plant receives nutrients from below and sunlight from above, much like it would on land.
Reasons for Low adoption of Aeroponics in India
There are disadvantages to any system, and aeroponics is no exception. While the country started to adapt to this farming technique, there are still many reasons why Aeroponics is not widely used.
The right knowledge and training, as well as the associated costs, are required to get started. Anyone planning to use aeroponics must have extensive training in maintaining the system’s hygiene. Because this system is a scientific one supported by advancing technology, its keeper must always enhance their knowledge.
The tangible aspects will have a hard time being sustained. This system is made up of several parts, some of which might fail if not maintained properly.
In the closed or indoor technique of aeroponics farming, maintaining the right amount of light and supply of air for the exposed part of the plant can occasionally be difficult, especially when vertical farming in the air is the way to produce more. Artificial light becomes crucial at this point.
In our search for an Indian startup that offers these advanced setups, we discovered CityGreens, the biggest and most prosperous hydroponic/aeroponic startup in India. They are supported by financial grants from the Ministries of Housing and Urban Affairs, Science and Technology, and Agriculture.
CityGreens is the pioneer of Aeroponic Farming in India for non-tuber crops. In early 2022, they had established a fully automated aeroponic farm for production of medicinal hemp in Uttarakhand. As per our confidential sources, who declined to be named for this story, buoyed by the success of their Aeroponics technology, CityGreens has started setting up an Aeroponics Tech Park. Once completed, this will be India’s largest and only Aeroponic Tech Park dedicated to cultivation of commercial horticulture crops.
As and when more details appear, we will update this story and keep you posted. For now you can visit www.CityGreens.in to know more about CityGreens and their offerings.
First published on: 25 Jan 2023, 12:36 IST