As spaces in cities are crunching down and with increasing concerns over healthy and chemical-free fruits and vegetables, terrace farming has slowly been catching up across cities in India. And amidst a pandemic during the lockdown, people have been picking up creative and interesting things to do while being stuck at home and Rajkot's Deepak Nakum, a teacher turned farmer has resorted to terrace farming and is also encouraging others to do it to grow organic vegetables so as to maintain good health during a health crisis.
Explaining the technology he used behind terrace farming, Deepak said, "The entire system used for terrace farming is called the Hydroponic system. In this, the soil is not used. The water requirement is only 10 per cent and the production is three to four times more than that of normal soil-based farming. There are also zero percent chances of any diseases spreading through the soil here," Nakum told news agency ANI.
Gujarat: Locals in Rajkot use soil-free technology to grow vegetable on their terrace"I'm using hydroponic technology which requires less water & doesn't require soil for plant growth. It protects plants from bacterial attack &improves quality of vegetable," says Suresh,a local pic.twitter.com/3cWHkzihGQ— ANI (@ANI) January 29, 2021
Hydroponics is rooted in modern science and in this method, crops are grown without soil, often called soilless farming. In this system, the plant roots are submerged in a liquid nutrient solution. Thus, instead of soil that supports the roots, the crops directly grow in nutrient-rich water.
And with Deepak's farm being just a few feet above his table, so to speak, he says there is no loss of nutrients and the vegetables are as fresh as dew. No refrigeration, no transportation involved ensures the produce is in no way impacted.
Deepak also explains how terrace farming is helpful in today's time is all the more important considering we are suffering from a space crunch problem and as such this is profitable from a commercial viewpoint as well. The fact that the concept requires less space is what makes it relatively easy to do.
Rasikbhai Nakum, a terrace farming expert also told ANI, "Vegetables that we grow using Hydroponic system need RO water that has low total dissolved solids (TDS). Vegetables like spinach, brinjal, tomatoes, chillies, lettuce, cabbage are a success in the Hydroponic system. While monitoring these plants, it is also very important to measure soil pH and TDS."
pH indicates the acidity or alkalinity of soil and is used to measure the concentration of hydrogen ions(H) in the soil solution.
The lockdown made it difficult for people to initially go out and buy daily essential and as such, those who had a terrace farming set up in the homes had it somewhat easier, Rasikbhai Nakum says. As such, investing in terrace farming is being touted as a much better alternative in such times.