1. Agriculture World

Students From FISAT Develop “Innovative Solution” For Hydroponics Cultivation

Student research teams from FISAT came up with a "smart" solution" for the Hydroponic method of cultivation which can be operated in small as well as in large settings.

Shivani Meena
Students came up with smart solutions from hydroponic method of cultivation
Students came up with smart solutions from hydroponic method of cultivation

A group of enthusiastic student research teams from the Federal Institute of Science and Technology (FISAT), Kerala has developed an innovative farming solution for hydroponics cultivation that fits in both open fields and small enclosed areas.

It is a smart crop protection software with a low-cost and simple design. 

E-Yantra Project: A Part of MoU with IIT Mumbai 

"We started this as part of the e-yantra project, which itself is part of the MoU with IIT Mumbai, and we want to support local panchayats by creating technology for their various requirements," said Bejoy Varghese, assistant professor in the department of electronics & communication engineering (ECE). 

They developed crop and climate-specific in-house nutrient formulations as part of the initiative, resulting in high yields. This was made using seven vegetable varieties and seven variants. It was tested on cherry tomatoes, eggplants, butternut squash, ginger, turmeric, cucumbers, and carrots. 

"We tested it on our small campus first, and then rented 1.20 acres at Muringoor, where we've been cultivating for the last 2.5 years." We obtained a three-fold output and are now ready to share it with local farmers," he continued. 

Five-level integrated pest management (IPM) strategy 

The method employed incorporates five-level integrated pest management (IPM) strategy based on biological controls, which aids in the elimination of the usage of chemical pesticides. It is a programmable nutrition injection device with a consistent system for the vine, root, and leafy vegetables. 

Bhojan-2025: A Step Forward to Chemical Free Food 

The project, named 'Bhojan-2025,' would see chemical-free food served at the dining table, said Bejoy. The students, who included 17 from the e-yantra project and 21 from the IEEE-SIGHT team, worked to guarantee that cold crops, such as carrots, require a different mix of the soilless medium than green vegetables, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes. 

"Because it is a water-based technology, there is no infection from the soil, therefore the difficulty is different," he added. 

They experimented with the crops in two summers and two rainy seasons throughout the Covid Period before finalizing the entire solution, said Varghese. 

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