1. Success Story

Growing Crop without Soil: Ratlam Farmer Shows How it Can Change the Future of Farming

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
Saumy Deepak Tripathi

Arvind who is a farmer from Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh has managed to grow strawberry in a region where there is scant rainfall. He also managed to grow them without soil which is an important breakthrough.

It was in 2015 that Arvind went to Israel on a tour and saw the concept of desert farming. Israel is a country that has a very limited supply of freshwater and large parts of the country are semi-arid and so it adopted drip irrigation and has managed to successfully turn large parts of the Negev Desert which covers almost 60% of the country’s total area into a vast agricultural land.

The art of Hydroponics

Arvind was quite impressed by this technique of growing crops without soil which is called hydroponics. It is a technique of growing plants without soil. In place of soil water and a working medium that can be perlite, sand or Rockwool and the main aim is to keep the plants healthy by transferring nutrients and keeping their roots oxygenated. Water is used as a medium to transfer nutrients and is replaced after a specific period.

Arvind’s road to success

Arvind invested Rs. 22000 in acquiring strawberry plants, cocopeat, PVC pipe, net pots, nutrient solution, motor pump, and a water tanker. In a couple of months, he grew about 600 strawberries and it was then he began to increase the production and used to change 10 litres of water every 15 days which is a 90% consumption decrease from traditional agriculture. The absence of soil also eliminates the chance of having any soil-borne disease thus eliminating the use of pesticides and fertilisers. Dhanak claims that through this technique almost 70000 plants can be grown in one bigha of land compared to 10000 through traditional methods.

Double Farmers' Income

With the Indian Government looking to double farmers' income by 2022-23, practices like hydroponics can certainly help in the endeavour. One of the main issues for the farmers is the lack of water in any areas that affect their crops and therefore their income. Also, the amount of water saved in this technique is huge and will significantly reduce the burden on the natural water table of any areas where it is implemented. The nutrients are also controlled by the farmer so he can adhere to the specific amount that a plant requires.

This can be the future of farming and we need people like Arvind to make it a reality.

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Hey! I am Saumy Deepak Tripathi. Did you liked this article and have suggestions to improve this article? Mail me your suggestions and feedback.

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