How to start a hydroponic business

How to start a hydroponic business

India is a country of tradition and culture, and agriculture has always played an integral part in both. Agriculture is often referred to as the backbone of our country. However, historically and scientifically speaking, agriculture marked the beginning of human civilization and human brain development and is one of our oldest professions (if not the most important).

For the past few decades or so, agriculture in India has been going from bad to worse in terms of quality, and as a business prospect. Dependence on traditional or inadequate equipment has lead to crop failures and loss. It is said that today, in India, the farmer’s child is no longer encouraged to follow the family business. And this is a scary thought when we depend on them to survive.

It’s 2018! And today, a new breed of farmer is born.

Hydroponics, a technology that enables farmers to grow in sterile environments using water, has changed the image of a farmer entirely. From engineers and newly graduated youngsters to large corporates and businessmen who may have never even gardened a day in their lives, farming is now moving into the mainstream.

If you would like to be a hydroponics farmer, this what you’ll need:

  1. Cleared land of a minimum half acre.

  2. Access to water and electricity.

  3. Road access.

  4. A credible hydroponic equipment supplier in India

  5. Funds

Apart from this, one would need to decide which variety of plants one would like to specialize in. Based on current trends, leafy greens and herbs appear to be the best way to start. FutureFarms has set up close to 40 of these farms in the country in a matter of two years, and these farmers appear to be enjoying immense success in both growth and revenues.
These plants grow on Nft (nutrient film technique) hydroponic systems. NFT systems like the FutureFarms Leaf Station Farms (LSF), allow the farmer to grow leafy greens and herbs in three times less space (compared to soil. The success of the business almost entirely depends on the quality of equipment used and the choice of vendor.

Within the plant group, you have chosen to grow, the next step is to decide the crop mix. If you plan to sell to a B2B (business to business) market, high volumes are required at bulk rates. This would mean that the priority of the farmer here would be to focus on a small variety of crops, in larger volumes. The idea here is to get contracts with major aggregators or bulk consumers at lower margins, but assured sales for the period of the contract. If you plan to be more of a brand or directly target consumers, the variety is key. In this strategy, you would not be looking at build sales with lower margins, but rather lower volumes with higher margins. Having a good portfolio of products, in this case, would be the key to target the end consumer.

Whether you take the plunge or not, hydroponics is here to stay and is certainly the future of farming in India.

Hydroponic Gardening – Advanced Way To Grow Plants

Hydroponic Gardening – Advanced Way To Grow Plants

Gardening at home has always been a pleasure for some, and a pain for others. For some, the thought of getting dirt in their fingernails and flooring, working with earthworms, and digging through smelly manure, provides a certain ‘joie de vivre’ that others may find unappealing.

Other people, may want gardening to be less of an arduous task, yet still, wish to have the benefits of fresh greens grown within plucking distance. For people who want to get their greens without having to deal with dirt (and the subsequent problems that inevitably ensue), fear not! Gardening in Hydroponics may prove to be an interesting proposition for you.

In soil, we usually wash away the dirt accumulated from gardening with water. However, avoiding soil and working entirely with clean water, is a common feature of a good hydroponic system design. In this method, plants are rooted in water, not soil. This water is recirculated using a pump and a tank – ensuring that not a single drop is wasted. Most importantly, hydroponic gardening usually manages to produce far superior results (in terms of nutrition, size, aroma, and taste) than traditional soil farming. All this, while keeping your hands clean, and rarely having your back hurt from the unavoidable tilling and toiling with soil…ing.

Today, Hydroponics has grown rapidly (no pun intended) across the country and is becoming a household name. Metro cities like Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, and Gurgaon to name a few, are slowly becoming hydroponic hubs both for home gardening, and large-scale commercial farming.

In the months and years to come, you would most certainly start seeing fresh, green hydroponic produce, either in your backyard or beautifully packaged on your nearest retail shelf.

Advanced Way To Grow Plants – Hydroponic Gardening

Advanced Way To Grow Plants – Hydroponic Gardening

We have been growing plants the same way since the dawn of agriculture. The main components are soil, water, sunlight, and nutrients. Traditionally the nutrients that were naturally present in the soil sufficed food production requirements. Ever since the 1960’s in India the advent of the agricultural revolution also known as the ‘Green Revolution’ promoted intensive agriculture with the help of the chemical inputs to replenish the nutrition in the soil after a farming cycle. Over the last 4 decades, this has led to a systematic degradation in the health of the soil because of overuse of these chemical inputs. A new approach to farming is the need of the hour. One promising technology is hydroponics that completely eliminates the dependence on soil and switches the nutrient delivery channel to water. There are a few new large-scale hydroponic farms in India. This is the first step into a greener more responsible future. Large-scale hydroponics in India was only a pipe dream until a few years ago until the water problems reached a level of criticality that was unignorable. The main issue that critics cited against hydroponics was the cost of hydroponic farming in India. But as with any new technology large scale hydroponics components in India are not readily available and require to be imported. This adds to the high cost of hydroponic farming in India. But a few promising new hydroponics equipment suppliers in India are working to indigenous a lot of the components to reduce the cost of hydroponics farming in India and make large-scale hydroponics in India a viable investment or startup option. Large-scale hydroponics in India at best is a 4-year industry. So the cost of hydroponics farming in India reflect the nascent nature of the industry, lack of hydroponics equipment suppliers in India means that there are no competitive pricing pressures.

Hence early movers into the large-scale hydroponics in India have a clear pricing advantage. This is keeping the cost of hydroponic farming in India in the premium range and is an option open to only a select few especially corporates that are interested in large-scale hydroponics in India. Another large driver of the industry is the government. Today the govt is still in the process of recognizing large-scale hydroponic farming in India as the possible solution to aid in the easing food production challenge in remote regions that are food deserts. Cleverly designed financing options with market support and technical outreach the government can play a big role in the adoption of large-scale hydroponics in India. By diverting some of the subsidies that are available to water and labor intensive agricultural initiatives towards large-scale hydroponics in India the government can incentivize farmers to take up large-scale hydroponics in India by bringing down the cost of hydroponics farming in India.