Interviews

“Choose to Challenge and Dream Big,” says Sangeeta Bojappa Moorthy, the Flagbearer of Soil-less/ Hydroponics Cultivation

Sangeeta Bojappa Moorthy at her hydroponics farm

What do you call a person who leaves a cushiony corporate job and plunges entirely into farming, to be precise, hydroponics? Well, the “farmeress” (yes, that’s what she calls herself instead of calling herself female farmer) from Bengaluru did exactly that and she feels “enlightened” to do so. She says she is the only farmer in the country to have practiced soil-less /hydroponics cultivation on a large /different varieties of produce. And gender did not come in the way of nurturing her dreams and listening to her ‘true calling.’  

Because, as she believes, women are born nurturers. Our Vedas describe men as “purush” and women as “prakriti.” So, doesn’t it mean farming is one of the best things for a woman to do?  

“Women have the ability to create life,” says Sangeeta in a candid conversation with Krishi Jagran prior to International Women’s Day 2021.  

The following are the excerpts from the conversation between Krishi Jagran’s (KJ) content writer Shipra Singh (SS) and the chief-farmeress ‘’Sangeeta Bojappa Moorthy’’ 

Sangeeta with her leafy greens cultivated without soil

KJ SS: How did you get an idea of doing hydroponics? 

Sangeeta: Rooted with a planter’s gene, I always wanted to do farming which was very futuristic, nutritive, profit-oriented based on reuse/recycle/reduce of resources sustainably as well technology (AI/LED based vertical) oriented Cultivation. This triggered my pioneering efforts with my Mentors/partners to establish ‘’Soil-less (Hydroponics) cultivation in India almost a decade ago. 

KJ SS: 2. Where do you practice hydroponics? 

Sangeeta: In Bengaluru. Being a pioneer in India, I have grown from one plant to a few acres all over India and other countries. 

KJ SS: What crops do you grow? 

Sangeeta: I have grown all leafy greens, herbs/super herbs, micro-greens, vegetables, fruits, aromatic plants, medicinal plants (native/exotics), and flowers as well. 

I am the only “farmeress” in the country who has tried to grow the maximum varieties of exotic/Indian/native leafies/vegetables/fruits /flowers and most importantly medicinal plants. 

In leafies (leafy greens), I have grown spinach (Big, baby, Malabar), amaranthus (all varieties), fenugreek, basil (4 varieties), colocasia, coriander, dill, roselle, Indian borages, Country borages, drumstick leaves, radish leaves, vine leaves, beetle leaves other than lettuce, basil, celery, bok-choy, and mint.  

In vegetables, other than Indian/native varieties, I have grown purple knol-khol/kholrabi, Golden Detroit turnips, and exotic peppers. 

In fruits, I have grown strawberries (Sweet-Charlie/Chandler). In fact, this was grown in the ‘’First ever built, Hi-tech environment controlled greenhouse’’ in Bengaluru, India. 

In Flowers, I have cultivated chrysanthemum, marigolds, daisies, and exotic hypericum berries. 

KJ SS: How do you keep the water fresh? 

Sangeeta: I follow the maintenance protocols diligently. 

KJ SS: How do you give nutrition to plants? 

Sangeeta: I use 100% water soluble salts as well as plant-based Nutrition Mix soluble mixed in water.  

KJ SS: Do you do hydroponics as only hobby or as profession? 

Sangeeta: It is my profession. I train, consult, advice clients in India and other countries. To know more –Visit my website: http://www.farmington.in/ 

KJ SS: Where do you sell? (your vendors) 

Sangeeta: My first vendor was Wall-Mart (Bharti-Wall Mart in Bengaluru) and now I consult for my clients to grow/sell in India and other countries for exporting as well. 

KJ SS: Did you face any challenge contacting vendors as a woman? 

Sangeeta: I did not face any challenge as a woman, in fact, was able to connect better as ''Vendors perceive that women are better growers and Nurturers.''  

KJ SS: Your vision for future. Would you like to try crop cultivation in soil too? 

Sangeeta: I would like to see ''that every cent of an unused land should be used to grow food.” Yes, I am already implementing ''smart farming concepts'' with an integrated approach that, includes both soil and other substrates 

KJ SS: How do you feel today at this point of life? 

Sangeeta: Empowered and to be the chosen one for the next generation's greater living through ''Food and Nutritional security.'' 

KJ SS: Describe yourselves in one word. 

Sangeeta: Torchbearer. 

KJ SS: One thing you love about being a woman. 

Sangeeta: To have the ability to create life and to nurture the Nature. 

KJ SS: If it were possible, what is one thing you would like to change from your past? 

Sangeeta: To have fast forwarded my ‘’purpose ‘’ to be a farmeress much earlier. 

KJ SS: Your message to women of today

Sangeeta: Embrace womanhood admirably by balancing /differentiating /prioritizing personal and professional life values.  

Choose to challenge and dream big. Be a change maker/trendsetter in how the world perceives the strength of a Woman and be an architect, inspiration, and a harbinger of an evolving society. 

‘Actionate’ your ‘’purpose’’ with passion, perseverance, persistence, and principles. Empower others and lead it spirited with mind, body and soul. Nurture the Nature, smile and, most importantly, LOVE YOURSELF. 

Happy Women’s Day to all the ‘feminine energies’ on Planet Earth and beyond!  

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