Views on hydroponics & aeroponics?

I absolutely agree with you when you say given enough time the soil can recover. That is exactly what is not happening in our country because of over farming of our lands. There are no signs of that stopping any time in the future, given our growing population. Even under the best circumstances, depending on what you are growing, on an average you can harvest three different crops when farming using traditional methods. Controlled Environment Agriculture farms using systems like Hydroponics, Aeroponics and Fogponics can have three to four times the harvests as compared to traditional methods. These methods can help meet the needs of our country’s growing population. CEA farms are also capable of growing a lot more produce per sq ft by stacking our crops vertically, thus by increasing our output without increasing our foot print.

Over farming is leaving our lands barren which is further pushing deforestation which is further pushing climate change. Even this year crops were lost to unseasonal rain. Yes a stepwise plan would have worked for organic farming, but if the climate keeps changing as it already is the soil quality will no longer matter.

I would like to disagree on this point. Please let me explain this using first principles: The ingredients that make agriculture possible are - solar radiation (specifically by the blue and red parts of the visible spectrum), Carbon dioxide, Water, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus.

On the exact process side: A multi-step sequence of chemical reactions, that combines the above ingredients - we call this photosynthesis - and produces new plant mass for grains, oil, sugar crops etc.

If you look closely, almost all the ingredients are available in abundance - enough solar radiation, water, CO2, Nitrogen (N2) etc. But the problem is naturally available Nitrogen in the environment is non-reactive, and without reactive Nitrogen, plants can’t complete photosynthesis. And hence we use fertilizers.

However, there are other natural sources of nitrogenous fertilizers - Animal & Human manure, Leguminous plants etc.

What lighting can do with tremendous temperature and pressure, an enzyme can do in normal conditions: It is produced by bacteria associated with the roots of Leguminous plants - pulses, Lentils, Peas, Broad beans, Chickpeas, Soybeans, Beans, Peanuts etc. And available freely in the soil or plants. As a result, leguminous food crops are able to provide (fix) their own nitrogen supply.

This means the massive dependencies on fertilizers can be minimized just by using crop alteration. This eliminates the need of giving the soil the rest. :slight_smile:

Having said that, I understand that controlled farming (hydroponics & aeroponics) can be a substitute solution. But definitely not the prime solution.

Came across a case where Basmati rice is grown in Dubai with Hydroponics, here are the thoughts which crossed my mind

Would it be less energy when compared to growing it in India and send it to Dubai.

What are the other lenses through which we need to look into this ?

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