STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Aeroponics farming offers new promises

At a time when drought-like situation prevails in several parts of TN, a Kovai-based graduate with TNAU help develops a new method of cultivation of commercial crops; claims to be the first such initi

Published: 18th February 2017 01:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th February 2017 06:09 AM   |  A+A-

Aeroponics farming model at Sengodampalayam near Coimbatore | Express

Express News Service

COIMBATORE: Driven by the dire need for food and an all around drought-like situation in several places with failing rains and a depleting water table, researchers have been trying various methods of farming to increase crop yield with minimum investment and water requirement.


A Coimbatore-based agri-engineering graduate K Prabhu Sankar, with the support of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) and a city-based agricultural technology developer, has brought Aeroponics farming system for commercial crops, after a trial period of two years. They claimed that after the US and European countries, this commercial type of Aeroponics farming is the first initiative in the country.


Every day, 900 kg of vegetables of 18 varieties which include tomato, brinjal, ladies finger, beans, carrot and potato, are produced using 30,000 sq ft space under the Aeroponics farming system located at Sengodampalayam near here.


Aeroponics is a process of growing plants in an air and mist environment, without the use of soil. The set-up would be housed inside a green house structure, with a state-of-the art refrigeration system. A completely closed greenhouse with 40 per cent sunlight penetration, 60 per cent sunlight diffusion, covered ground with mounted, automated pulse irrigation and automated climate management are salient features.


Sankar had developed the Aeroponics system in 2013. After a study to standardise the farming method for the climatic condition, he formulated procedural calculation in 12 parameters such as room temperature, relative humidity, carbon-dioxide level, sunlight intensity, shadow effect, water temperature, water nutrient and PH value in water.


“Around 6,000 litres of water would be enough to cultivate 900 kg of vegetables a day. Water would be sprayed intermittently at the root of the crops the whole day. The crops absorb only 2,000 litres as a top up, and the remaining water would be recycled,” he said.


The net result is a 10-time higher yield from  one unit area, which justifies the capital investment. “Though this type of farming already exists in developed countries, we could not adopt them in our agricultural system directly because of the variation in climatic conditions. It has taken almost two years for making the unit functional,” he said.


He said the trial and error identification and mitigation of the same over the past two years in a big commercial set-up has made the plan stronger. He also thanked the staff of the Agri Business Development Cell of the TNAU for their support in rendering technological and funding assistance in setting up the system at `55 lakh.


R Murugesan, Director of Agri Business Development of TNAU, said, “We have been giving promotional support to them. Recently, we organised a conference with 35 business heads.”

Stay up to date on all the latest Tamil Nadu news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp