BENGALURU: Just like other sectors, new trends crop up in agriculture sector too. While space issues force many to opt away from cultivation, many innovations make farming possible in flats and villas.
Princely Amin Dias, founder of Karma House, is involved in setting up aquaponic farms. “Mine is an intelligent aquaponics farm,” he said. He has an aquaponics farm in 3 cents of land at Tripunithura in Ernakulam. “One big benefit of an aquaponics system for the owner is that the cash flow begins quickly. The fish have a growth cycle of six months and this means you can have two fish harvests and multiple vegetables harvest a year,” he said.
In the case of setting up aquaponics farms, the specs include state-of-the-art mobile integrity (optional), live view of the farm, greenhouse, inverters, solar system (optional) 4,000 fish, 10 grow beds (6 x 2) 20,000-litre fish tank, and biofiltration systems and nutrient tank along with all the required stands, pumps, valves, and tubes.
According to him, the Karma House rates the systems for 12 years. “Over that lifetime, the IRR projection is 15.17 per cent. The projected annual yields on the initial purchase price range from 10.49 per cent in the first year to 35 per cent by year 20, thanks to inflation and production improvements,” said Dias.
Again, one big benefit of this kind of farming is the quick cash flow generated. Grow cycles are counted in weeks rather than months or years.
“Once the system is up and running, revenues are distributed every six months, to coincide with fish harvests. That means you start getting a return on your capital in about nine months from when you buy a system,” he added.
Another method is growing microgreens in trays, says Dias. “I started growing microgreens during my wife’s pregnancy. The aim was to supplement her diet with healthy and nutritious greens grown organically,” he said. That was two months ago.
Today, Dias is gearing up to go full-fledged in cultivating microgreens. “This doesn’t require any investment. You can start using green gram, Bengal gram and cowpea,” he said. According to him, with just `20, a plastic tray and some tissue paper, anybody can set up a microgreen farm at their homes.
“A day or two after the seeds sprout and the first tiny leaves make their appearance, the greens are ready for harvest,” he said. According to him, various types of seeds can be used to grow microgreens. “Some of them include seeds of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mustard, chia, sunflower or buckwheat,” he said.