Integration of Vertical Farming and Hydroponics: A Recent Agricultural Trend to Feed the Indian Urban Population in 21st Century
Abstract, ACTA Scientific Agriculture, 2019
Horizontal agriculture is confronting with major challenges and the most importantly, decrease in per capita land availability as well as agricultural production. In addition to this, the two dimensional traditional farming is unable to meet the food requirements of exponentially increasing population owing to the constant land tract and rising food demand. Consequently, there is a pressing need to switch over a new concept of farming, which is known as ‘Vertical farming’. The integration of vertical farming with hydroponics has added a neoteric chapter in agricultural engineering to mitigate the problem of food scarcity for the future. Vertical farming is a practice of yielding agricultural products to produce more and more food crops in small area in vertically stacked structures specifically in the urban and peri-urban regions, where shortage of agricultural land is grimmer. It may be one of the best possible ways to yield crops to meet the food demand of urban population; whereas hydroponics is a way of cultivating plants with the use of liquid nutrient solution as a growing medium and other necessary minerals to maintain the growth of plants. The inclusion of these both innovations in mainstream agriculture may increase the yield, which can meet the rising food necessities. Although in last few years, vertical farming is being practised in Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Korea and the United States of America, this concept is yet to be implemented in most of the developing countries as well as in India. Hence, the paper aims to deliver pros and cons of these agricultural technologies, its economic viability and the hope of its success in Indian background. It also acts as a curtain raiser for the introduction of this method of farming with adjustments to suit the Indian context.
Keywords: Horizontal; Vertical Farming; Hydroponics; Mitigate; Liquid Nutrient