As the state has been reeling under severe drought for consecutive years, the horticulture department is now exploring the possibilities of hydroponics to grow vegetables and fruits.
In Hydroponics, crops are grown and harvested completely in soil-less medium, where nutrient solutions are used to grow crops. It is said that this method uses 75% lesser water than traditional farming.
An official of the horticulture department said, “There is a directive from higher-ups to prepare a plan on introducing the hydroponics method of cultivation. First, there is a need to train officials, after which demonstrations and training for the general public including farmers who are interested, will be held. There are also plans to provide kits and tools to the trainees. The state government will take a final call on this. There is also a plan to popularise this method of cultivation among people who have private gardens as well as those living in apartments. By using hydroponics technology, most herbs, creepers, flowers and other vegetables can be grown.
Sunil Jose, who runs a start-up on Hydroponics called HydroBloom, said, “Herbs, vegetables and flowers can be grown using hydroponics. In addition to that, the state government can also produce fodder using this method. Due to severe drought and non-availability of fodder, there were many instances of livestock death.
States such as Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are making efforts to promote hydroponics in a big way. We hope that even Karnataka will promote this method.
Other than farmers, in cities such as Bengaluru, some of the big business houses are using hydroponics for vertical ornamental planting on their campuses.”
Jose said several countries such as the Netherlands, Canada and Australia have already adopted hydroponics farming extensively over the years. However, in India, farmers largely depend on conventional farming methods.