Farmer Makes use of Hydroponics to Develop Strawberries & Flip His Existence Round

A few years again whilst switching channels, Dheeraj Verma got here throughout a tv programme that showcased how Israel has pioneered hydroponic farming – an cutting edge and environment friendly approach to develop plants without having soil.

This soil-less farming methodology piqued the pastime of the Barabanki district farmer.

“Israel has been extraordinarily modern in farming regardless of having a dry local weather, restricted water assets, and prime inhabitants density,” he tells The Higher India.

“With what they grew in an acre of land, they have been ready to export it to a number of international locations. I questioned, in the event that they have been exporting produce from only one acre, why used to be I lagging at the back of regardless of proudly owning 10 acres of land? I used to be no longer ready to promote my produce even to the following village, let by myself to the opposite international locations,” he provides with a sigh.

Dheeraj used to be so thinking about the methodology that he went on to observe loads of similar movies on hydroponics farming in Israel. His obsession led him to undertake the observe in his village Meenapur, Barabanki, which is well known for cultivating conventional plants like wheat, maize and rice.

Early this yr, Dheeraj made gross sales of Rs 3 lakh inside two months through cultivating strawberries hydroponically.

 Hydroponic farming is an innovative and efficient way to grow crops without needing soil.
Hydroponic farming is an cutting edge and environment friendly approach to develop plants without having soil.

4 issues, one resolution

For the previous 13 years, the BSc graduate has been rising conventional plants the usage of typical farming ways. In reality, he used to develop strawberries at the open farm on 5 acres of land.

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“The method used to be very bulky because it required numerous land, mulching, and drip irrigation. Weeding may be a commonplace factor in rising strawberries on land. To do away with the undesirable grass, we needed to make use of agricultural labourers. The labour fees by myself would price us Rs 50,000 to take away weeds from a bigha of land,” he provides.

For Dheeraj, hydroponics farming gave the impression a panacea for all demanding situations.

In 2021, he went to Madhya Pradesh to adopt coaching through Dhakad Brothers to be informed the hydroponics manner of cultivation. “In hydroponics farming, you give vitamins to vegetation by means of water. A crop calls for 13 sorts of vitamins together with number one vitamins like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, secondary vitamins like calcium, sulphur, and magnesium, and tertiary vitamins like iron, zinc, manganese, copper, boron, molybdenum, and chlorine. Those components act as an crucial catalyst for plant expansion,” he explains.

“Despite the fact that I knew the option to give those vitamins by means of water, I didn’t know the ratio during which those components have been required to be given to the crop. The educational helped me be told the means,” he provides.

Within two months, Dheeraj was able to harvest 5 tonnes of strawberries.
Inside of two months, Dheeraj used to be ready to reap 5 tonnes of strawberries. Photograph: Pixabay.

5x extra produce in small area

Coming again, Dheeraj established a three,500 sq toes hydroponics set-up on his farm. Thereafter, he planted 9,000 saplings of strawberries the usage of coco peat as a medium.

“I used develop luggage and stuffed them with cocopeat. In those develop luggage, I hooked up 4 drippers for water provide and made 4 small holes for drainage. Subsequent, I planted the saplings and provided the entire vitamins to the crop with water. With this system, I water the plant at an opening of per week, as a substitute of working the water provide 24×7. Nearly 70 p.c of water will get absorbed within the media for plant expansion,” he says.

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It took Dheeraj 1.5 months and Rs 12 lakh to construct the construction. 

“However it used to be all price it. This is a one-time funding that reduces the entire enter prices after a undeniable length. For 5 years, I shouldn’t have to fret concerning the upkeep of the gadget,” he says.

Inside of two months, Dheeraj used to be ready to reap 5 tonnes of strawberries and earned an source of revenue of Rs 3 lakh in the similar length. “This technique is much better than typical farming. With hydroponics, I were given 5 instances extra manufacturing in hydroponics in comparison to open-land farming,” he provides.

Highlighting the duties farmers will have to remember of whilst adopting this system, he says, “Farmers wish to track the hydroponics farm once or more on a daily basis. The strawberries are closely attacked through pests and fungus. In land-based farming, we have been pressured to spray chemical insecticides indiscriminately. However in hydroponics, I used to be ready to chop chemical inputs,” he says.

Early this year, Dheeraj made sales of Rs 3 lakh within two months by cultivating strawberries hydroponically.
Early this yr, Dheeraj made gross sales of Rs 3 lakh inside two months through cultivating strawberries hydroponically.

For this, he ready a distinctive fungicide the usage of curd. 

“In a single litre of curd, upload 50 grams of copper wires or a copper lota (round vessel). Stay the content material for a minimum of 15  days till the content material turns into totally blue. Take 2 ml of this combination and dilute it in 1 litre of water. Spray the diluted content material on plants as soon as each and every week all through the season. This tackles fungi assault and offers a just right yield,” he explains.

“Despite the fact that I’m extraordinarily glad to harvest advantages through adopting this new methodology, to start with I made some errors in getting just right vitamins from the marketplace. I were given misled into purchasing vitamins from fraud corporations. This not on time my manufacturing through 1.5 months. However I’m assured that I will earn as much as Rs 10 lakh within the subsequent season from the similar setup,” says Dheeraj, who’s recently cultivating purple and yellow sorts of capsicum at the hydroponics setup.

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Giving his instance, Dheeraj advises different farmers to discover hydroponics farming. 

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“This system isn’t rocket science, any untutored farmer can reap good-looking earnings with hydroponics like me,” he suggests.

Edited through Padmashree Pande. All footage: Dheeraj Verma.

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