Image Source: http://gnbc.in/2015/12/09/making-indian-farming-hi-tech/
Agriculture in India is a 370 billion dollar sector – but there is little application of technology to improve productivity. Some 2 billion dollars of fruit/vegetables are wasted because of lack of supply chain management and cold storage facilities – 40% wasted in transit. India has approximately 8000 refer trucks capable of transporting fresh produce. Only 4 million tons of fresh produce out of the 104 million tons is reaching us via refrigeration. The number of supermarket stores (food & grocery format) is approximately 2400 (2015 data) which include Reliance Fresh, Future group, Aditya Birla etc. Food inflation in India is growing at 7%, as we have a supply demand mismatch. This inflation translates into an additional 70,000 crore rupees opportunity.
India uses 91% of available water for irrigation/livestock, 2% for Industry and 7% for municipalities (as per 2010 data). Out of this 49% is from ground water sources and by this excessive exploitation water table is receding at 3 to 10 feet per year.
In India only 30,000 hectares is under poly house or covered cultivation. The national average vegetable yield is 17 tons/Ha whereas in developed countries it is 40 tons/ha. As per the 2014 latest figures only 17% of agricultural land is under Horticultural crops giving 270.46 million metric tons of horticulture production. The availability of vegetables per day per person is 374 grams only. The food services market in India was estimated at $48 billion in 2013 in a study by the National Restaurant Association of India and Technopak. In five years, that could be worth $78 billion - that is nearly what the Indian IT industry currently exports. While volumes are picking up, restaurant owners are looking to cut import bills and chefs are exploring ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the dishes they create. Air transport of food implies higher energy consumption resulting in carbon emissions.
On 19th February this year our PM said “it’s important to modernize agriculture practices and use more technology” he further emphasized that “transformation in India will come from villages, through the farmers.” Let us power the second green revolution by technology and modernization.
Present scenario as per reports indicate only 62% of agricultural startups related to crop production are profit generating. 25% crop production agriculture startups need support in technology. 45% startups catering to farmers feel they lack adequate government support, about 32% are expecting help in the form of funding or marketing enablement and nearly half of the startups expect more ecosystem support in incubation and growth. 30% of startups have mobile presence – maybe cloud/SaaS, website, social media and community engagement. Current technology adoption in this sector is low and couples with inadequate talent, the creation and growth of agriculture startups is facing challenges. Massive eco system support from government, universities and corporates is the need of the hour.
We at CRAFT take a fresh, client-focused approach to the art and science of hydroponic growing of crops. We are committed to our clients and to utilizing our seasoned team of experts to deliver industry-leading examples of profitable, high quality, fresh produce safe for human consumption.
Probably the first argument someone will have against hydroponics is that the vegetables are grown in "chemicals" and we're thought to believe that everything that's chemical is bad. Well, medicine and body fortifiers are factory-made chemicals and no one minds them. Besides, it was scientifically proven that plants suck up minerals and other nutrients from the soil or solution they're grown in only after decomposing them into basic states. So in truth, it doesn't really matter if you grow your tomatoes in manure, fertile soil or a nutrient solution. The only thing that differs is how much nutrients they get and this is where applying hydroponics on vegetables has an edge
So, the challenge ahead for hydroponic growers worldwide is to develop water-efficient, sustainable growing systems to supply high quality, safe products that are needed for a quality of life while maintaining a healthy planet. To achieve this goal, the hydroponics industry worldwide needs to:
•adopt recycling technology which offsets the need for soil, water and energy to produce crops and dramatically reduce natural resource use – Clean & Green environment.
•develop new sustainable pest and disease control practices, without pesticides and fungicides – IFM, IPM.
•invest in food technology research, including biotechnology – Feeding the 9 billion mouths by 2050.
•develop more efficient production systems with smaller footprints and demands on natural resources – Support Local grown Products.
•develop better greenhouse designs and construction materials that optimize climate control – Best usage of available latest technology.
•invest in renewable energy resources, such as the development of cheaper plastic solar cells – Alternative Farming technologies.
•encourage industry recognition and support by governments; share technology with less developed hydroponic and greenhouse industries – Technology dissemination to grass root level.
•develop market access for ‘clean and green’ products – Consumer awareness
Besides growing and selling products, there are many other important aspects to managing a farm business. Farm management is the collective term for various management strategies and methods that are employed to keep a farm productive and profitable.
1. Operational procedures.
2. Fertigation procedures
3. Plant protection procedures
4. Computer climate control procedures
5. Harvest procedures
6. Packaging procedures
7. Dispatch procedures
8. Purchase procedures
9. Admin/Accounts procedures
10. Accommodation procedures.
11. OHAS (occupational health & safety plan) procedures
All farm related agricultural activities have to be through these international standard practices by implementation of Global GAP, IPM, IFM, integrating environment and farming, supporting local produce, reduction of carbon foot print, food safety and implementation of HACCP.
Adjiedi Bakas – trend watcher/speaker and author of “future of food” mentions urban farms based upon hydroponics will be developed in megacities. By 2050, 80% of people will live in cities. Food and agriculture become more industrial than ever yet the small markets for seasonal & locally produced food gains popularity amongst elites & becomes more profitable.
The global hydroponics market is projected to reach USD 395.2 million by 2020, at a CAGR of 16% from 2015 to 2020.
THE TIME IS VERY APT NOW, LADIES and GEMTLEMEN - LETS JUMP OFF THE CLIFF, WE WILL GROW WINGS.