Hydroponic farming is a modern farming technique that strives to minimize input and maximize output by skipping the soil as a carrier for nutrients and using water instead, making hydroponic farming a subset of hydroculture. A plethora of nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, etc. are added to the water and the water is circulated throughout the farm with the help of a hydroponic system. A healthy yield is guaranteed given faster and more monitored absorption of nutrients is promoted with the help of nutrient solutions that can be tailored to suit the crop.
Further, since hydroponic farming can be conducted in racks, vertical farm space is often well utilized, thereby maximizing yield per square meter and maximizing space utilization. Coupled with maximized water utilization (due to the reusable nature of the nutrient-rich water), hydroponic farming is often deemed to be one of the most sustainable forms of agricultural techniques and one where the cost keeps on diminishing with time. However, there are considerable costs that one must bear at the beginning to create the infrastructural premise in order to perfectly carry out the practice.
How can you efficiently learn hydroponic farming in a matter of weeks?
There are three ways in which you can learn hydroponic farming effectively and efficiently. While two of these methods would be guided by whether or not you live in an area where there are suitable facilities for you to learn the trade, the third method is location agnostic and suitable for anyone and everyone irrespective of their place of residence (which is ideal, as hydroponics systems are location agnostic per se).
Short-term and long-term government/private institutional trainings
Many government agencies, organizations, ministries and even private bodies carry out their own certificate and diploma courses in modern farming techniques such as hydroponic farming, aquaponic farming, etc. While some courses are short-term, there are full-fledged degree courses as well that one can enrol into. One of the most celebrated institutes in this category is the Institute of Horticulture Technology, located in Noida and Assam. You can check their website out and see if any of their courses piques your interest.
For anyone who is looking to have more control over the course curriculum and study hydroponic farming on the farm in a real and practical environment, farm-based training by hydroponic farmers is the best bet. Many farms such as Hydrilla, Garden Guru, Simply Farm, Hydrobloom, etc. provide on-farm training, however, these training are extremely location-specific, i.e., the aforesaid are available in Bengaluru. You can perhaps search the web for hydroponic farms in your preferred area and get in touch with the farm representatives and seek out any training possibilities that may be available on offer.
Online courses with expert-guidance
If you’re looking to get an all-round insight into everything that you will need in order to start your own hydroponic farm, you should consider 6-8 weeks long online training where you get to talk to the expert trainer to clarify any questions and even get hand-holding support (at extremely reasonable fees) such that you have a guardian watching over you as you establish your own hydroponic farm and complete a crop cycle, look no further than Rocket Skills.
Rocketskills.in is an MSME training platform where, currently, you’ll find close to a dozen (if not more) modern agriculture courses which are a good mix of self-paced video content and live webinars with the experts. On special request, you can even avail of one-on-one consultancy services with the expert and kickstart your hydroponic farming practice commercially!
Some Tips and Tricks
Many hydroponic farming enthusiasts stray away from venturing into the field because of a notion that’s extremely misguided – it takes a long time to recover the initial investment. This is absolutely not true! It takes a good business strategy to recover costs and make profits in a matter of months. Like any other business, the market forces of demand and supply guide your chances of success and therefore, it is definitely worth understanding your market before venturing into the business. Let’s look at a few tips and tricks that can amplify your odds of making big profits in the hydroponic farming space –
Know your crops
Did you know that not all crops work well in a hydroponic setup? Leafy greens, guards and berries are some of the most preferred crops that are grown in the hydroponic setup due to their quick turnaround time and functional match for this modern farming technology. Learn which crops farewell and learn the particulars of their crop cycle to be able to plan and forecast demand-supply metrics.
Know your market
What are the dietary preferences of the people in your area? What kind of money are they willing to pay for good quality organic produce? Are there already competitors in your field? If yes, what advantage can you offer so that people prefer buying from you? Understanding your environment, your market, and your industry can give you an unparalleled advantage and increase your probability of immediate success.
Know your options
This basically means that there’s more to it than meets the eye – you might think that the D2C farm-to-consumer setup is best for you, based on your research. However, if you probe a little further, you’ll find an immense scope that will probably at least double your demand base. You may be able to foster retail relationships, wholesale relationships, preferred supplier relationships with businesses, and even start your own line of processed foods. It’s a question of doing thorough research and viability study.
In this day and age of e-commerce, it is much easier to expand the scope and scale of your business, and true efficiency is achieved when you are able to milk your limited offering to the maximum possible limit. Wishing you all the success in your hydroponic farming venture!