Journalist takes to hydroponic farming, hogs headlines

Hydroponics farming.
Image courtesy: IANS

Bareilly: Ramveer Singh, an erstwhile journalist, is making headlines and this time, it is not for his write-ups.

Ramveer has taken up hydroponic farming in a big way.

Hydroponics is a type of horticulture and a subset of hydroculture which involves growing plants without soil, by using mineral nutrient solutions in an aqueous solvent.

In 2017-18, Ramveer travelled to Dubai for an agriculture-related event and witnessed hydroponics farming.

"I was inquisitive about this type of farming method. It did not require soil and could be grown with less pest infestation. Moreover, it saved almost 80 per cent of water required for growing plants," he says.

Ramveer extended his stay and learned the farming techniques from the farmers for the next couple of weeks. After returning, he decided to experiment with the farming technique at home.

He has now converted his three-storied house into a hydroponics farm that earns him lakhs.

Ramveer started using pipes and other infrastructure to set up the hydroponics systems in his balcony and open spaces. "I installed two methods for the farm using Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) and Deep Flow Technique (DFT).

"At present, the farm is spread across 750 sq meter space, hosting over 10,000 plants," he adds.

He grows okra, chillies, capsicum, bottle gourd, tomatoes, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, strawberry, fenugreek and green peas.

"I grow all seasonal vegetables with hydroponics. The system is designed using PVC pipes and circulates the water with the help of gravity. The arrangement ensures that about 16 nutrients such as magnesium, copper, phosphorus, nitrogen, zinc and others reach the plants by introducing them in the flowing water. The method saves 90 per cent use of water," he explains.

Ramveer believes that the hydroponic farming technique is healthier and better than organic farming.

"I feel that the vegetables grown in hydroponics farming have better absorption of nutrients. Moreover, the method has no risk of soil pollution. Farmers practising conventional farming may expose soil or plants by spraying chemicals or pesticides. Hydroponics farming is independent of harmful chemicals," he says.

Ramveer also has a farm about 40 kilometres from Bareilly, but he is no longer dependent on it.

"I do not need to travel a long distance for my weekly supply of vegetables. I harvest it fresh from my home farm and use it in the kitchen," he adds.

His impressive and unique farm has attracted the attention of passers-by as they felt awed by the concrete building covered with vegetables hanging over the sides. "Many have inquired and sought to install the system in their homes. I have helped at least 10 persons by installing the hydroponic system for them," he adds.

As for being a journalist, Ramveer continues to freelance as per his convenience.

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