Sunday, December 10, 2023

Engineer Makes use of Aquaponics On Terrace to Harvest 500 Kg Veggies/Month

Shashank Dubey was comfy in his company job in Delhi. At some point, he learn an article about greens grown on the floodplain of the Yamuna river and the potential well being dangers related to consuming them. This information troubled him.

“These greens are grown in polluted environments and loaded with heavy metals. Individuals who eat them get deadly ailments, akin to most cancers,” the 33-year-old tells The Higher India.

“Aside from that, city residents are so depending on packaged and deep-fried meals, which is dangerous to well being. The standard of the meals that we eat issues. So I assumed I ought to develop my very own greens,” he provides.

After working for almost a decade as an electronics and communications engineer, Shashank stop his job in 2018 and moved to Vadodara. Quickly after, he ventured into rising his personal meals. However like a majority of city residents, area was a constraint for him.

Aquaponics has a similar setup of hydroponics but with an additional fish tank to breed fish.
Aquaponics has an analogous setup of hydroponics however with an extra fish tank to breed fish.

As an alternative choice to conventional vegetable farming which requires loads of time and enormous land, the engineer selected aquaponics farming, which mixes aquaculture and hydroponics. On this technique, fish helps people develop meals because the vitamins from fish excreta enrich the water used to develop crops.

At this time, he grows almost 2,500 forms of crops, which embrace inexperienced leafy greens, medicinal herbs, and flowers.

Hydroponics vs aquaponics

Whereas searching for various strategies to traditional farming, Shashank found hydroponics in addition to aquaponics strategies of farming.

Explaining the distinction between the 2, he says, “In hydroponics, crops are grown with out soil as a base. As an alternative of soil, the roots are immersed in water. A system is positioned whereby a set amount of water retains biking. Moreover, liquid chemical fertilisers are added to nourish the plant.”

In the meantime, aquaponics combines hydroponics with aquaculture.

“The key distinction between hydroponic and aquaponic setup is the media used to offer vitamins to the soil. It has an analogous setup of hydroponics however with an extra fish tank to breed fish. The fish excreta is decomposed by micro organism into nitrate which is a perfect fertiliser for crops. It’s like imitating the river ecology. By way of this fish tank, water is regulated all through small tanks that maintain crops,” says Shashank, who has upcycled drums and cans to make use of as fish tanks.

Apart from nitrates produced by fish waste, Shashank provides iron nails, lime and egg shells to spice up iron and calcium vitamins within the media.

“The largest benefit of this technique is that together with rising meals with out soil in much less area, it is usually natural. Additionally, there is no such thing as a must fertilise the crops individually,” says Shashank.

Curiously, aquaponics farming saves 80 p.c of the water required in a standard farming setup, he informs. “Farmers may harvest further earnings by breeding and promoting edible fish aside from greens,” he says.


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Shashank grows nearly 2,500 varieties of plants, which include green leafy vegetables, medicinal herbs, and flowers.
Shashank grows almost 2,500 forms of crops, which embrace inexperienced leafy greens, medicinal herbs, and flowers.

Decentralising meals manufacturing

After six months of analysis and help from ICAR-CAFRI, Vadodara, he grew greens by means of aquaponic farming below synthetic mild in a 600 sq ft space for 3 years. Seven months again, he moved to develop greens in a industrial terrace setup.

With none earlier farming expertise earlier than, in the present day, Shashank is ready to harvest about 500 kg of greens month-to-month from his 2,000 sq ft aquaponic terrace farm. He now additionally trains city residents involved in farming.

“I wished to construct this farm to reveal that city individuals may develop greens every single day. I assist them for a yr to assist them perceive the system in order that they achieve confidence to develop greens in an aquaponic setup,” he says.

Gautam Trivedi (26), a Vadodara resident and music producer by career, wished to develop his personal greens. After receiving coaching from Shashank, he arrange an aquaponics farm in a 50 sq ft space of his backyard. “In an aquaponics arrange, we get good inexperienced leafy greens which can be crunchier and higher in style than that out there available in the market. It additionally requires low upkeep,” he says.

To date, he has skilled 35 individuals from Gujarat and Rajasthan by means of offline and on-line courses.

“It’s a one-to-one course of. I conduct a six-hour class. Within the preliminary three hours, I inform them in regards to the totally different crops {that a} farmer can develop. Within the subsequent three hours, I practice them on easy methods to implement the aquaponics system,” says Shashank, who prices Rs 2,500 and Rs 3,000 for offline and on-line courses, respectively.

Sharing just a few tips about aquaponics farming, he says, “Crops require an atmosphere with the optimum temperature. For example, to develop leafy greens, a temperature between 25 and 30 levels Celsius is required. Whereas for hilly crops, akin to strawberries, it is advisable to cut back the temperature to 18 levels Celsius, and for crops like lettuce, as much as 15 levels Celsius. We use city clay pots to control the temperature of water within the system,” he provides.

Shashank says it costs Rs 800 per sq ft to establish an aquaponics terrace farm in a vertical setup.
Shashank says it prices Rs 800 per sq ft to ascertain an aquaponics terrace farm in a vertical setup.

Apart from this, he suggests farmers introduce fish like gold and koi fish. “They produce extra excreta and in addition survive in harsh temperature circumstances. Simply guarantee to filter the water earlier than including the fish to the tank; water shouldn’t be laborious. You may add 150 fish in a 1,000-litre tank. For edible fish, you’ll require a tank of three,000 litres as their dimension grows,” he says.

Shashank says it prices Rs 800 per sq ft to ascertain an aquaponics terrace farm in a vertical setup. “This price could be decreased to Rs 400 if farmers want to keep away from vertical farming. It’s a one-time funding,” he provides.

“Meals manufacturing is fundamental but city residents avert from the thought. As an alternative of incomes an excellent earnings for myself, my focus is on enabling city Indians to develop their very own greens even when they’ve a small area — as small as one sq. foot, The aquaponics farming will allow individuals to decentralise meals manufacturing,” says Shashank.

For those who want to study aquaponics farming, you may contact Shashank at +91 99742 04501.

Edited by Pranita Bhat

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