There are innumerable research works done regarding the economic benefits of hydroponic farming setup over field farming setup. In this article, we are going to offer some research-based declarations to show why hydroponic farming is more profitable than field farming. Note that for farming in India, the currencies were converted into INR.
Fields Failed to Feed
From both business and moral points of view, hydroponic farming over field farming has the edge of PPP, which stands for ‘People, Planet and Profits. In the case of India, many researchers have already established that with a population of more than a billion, traditional agriculture is unable to feed the entire population. As a result, 20% of the population starves daily. Both rural and urban areas of India are facing serious scarce of food. However, with technological support systems, commercial hydroponic farming can yield much more than field farming and can feed the increasing hungry population of India. Thus, it is a proven profitable option for the present farmers.
Lettuce as an Example
Based on a household tropical greenhouse in the Philippines, 560 lettuce plants were grown hydroponically. Within a month, the attained net weight from the transplantation was radically huge. The revealed net 2 annual profit margins achieved were INR 35,318 and INR 43,517, respectively. Thus, at present, the attained net worth of the same farming procedure is INR 190,706 per annum.
This kind of profit is not possible through field farming. Though setting up a hydroponic farm appears more than field farming, yet the profitable returns start getting generated within a couple of years.
On a general note, the profitability of hydroponic farming is more than field farming. The core points to be considered in support of this statement are:
- Plants grown through hydroponic farming setup are much resistant to high saltwater
- Not destroyed by pathogens, fungi, insects, or animals
- No labour cost as no-tilling, no-ploughing, no-cultivation, no-watering, or no-fumigation
- Expense in the nutrient solution is just 25% of field fertilizers
High Survival Rates
While leading an experiment regarding the survival rates of plants during farming, it has been found that the plants grown through hydroponic survive more than those grown through open-field farming. The adaptability of plants through a hydroponic system is much quicker and stronger than field farming. The reason is ‘almost zero possibility’ of being attacked by the soil-borne pathogens and regular restrictions from bacteria and fungus. The survival rates of tomato, pepper and lettuce in the 4th week and the 8th week appeared to be 92.86%, 42.86% and 78.57% respectively. This is something that never happens in the case of field farming.
High Yields of Vegetables
In a recent survey for different kinds of vegetables, a research group has established that the yields in kg/hectare for both hydroponic and open field farming are noteworthy. For instance, tomato farming can yield 403,335.81 kg/hectare through hydroponics, whereas field farming can only yield 11,203.75 to 22,407.47 kg per hectare. Same for other vegetables like beet, potato, cabbage, cauliflower.
Add Hydroponic to Vertical Farming
As hydroponic gets arranged in vertical format, it becomes the most exclusive preference for indoor farming for Indian homes. In a very small room, you can reap lots of vegetables. The yield through commercial hydroponic farming with vertical provision has brought in much higher revenue than open-field farming. Such returns start getting visible in a couple of months. It is therefore recommended that for higher profit margins, the Indian farmers should consider incorporating a hydroponic farming setup with vertical farming.
Hydroponic farming remains controlled and managed by the right temperature, balanced humidity, proper water supply and strict pest control. Keeping in consideration the demands of the market, you can regulate the production without any loss. It is only through hydroponic farming and not field farming that you can yield high-quality food as per necessary demands, all through the year.
Setting Up of Farm in India
While investigating the process of setting up hydroponic farm against the field farm in India, some key factors are positively affirmed by many farmers. These key factors are about the profitability of hydroponic farming over field farming:
For Land usage & External Effects
Field farming is limited to different types of soils and is highly affected by changes in external climate, whereas hydroponic farming hardly has any such impact as there is no soil and temperature & humidity is under control.
For Water Usage
Soil cannot hold water in field farming, and the irrigation water can never be reused, which leads to water scarcity and loss of nutrients; whereas in hydroponic farming run-off in media for culturing plants could reuse the irrigation, without any wastage or loss of provided nutrients.
For Fertilizers and nutrient solutions
Irregular and unequal distribution of applied manure and fertilizer, and maintenance of pH are not easy in open field farming, but in hydroponic farming regular and equal distribution of applied fertilizer through media, and easy maintenance of pH.
For Production Margins
Productions in field farming vary as per soil-borne diseases, and fertility quality, whereas in hydroponic farming the productions remain stable as it relies on used media. These media are regularly monitored and cleaned to protect the plants from getting infected.
For Taxation Benefits
Under the Income Tax Act, 1961, the income attained from land earnings from agricultural products; is subject to taxation. However, in India, hydroponic farming is yet to come under this Act. Confirmation of judicial precedents for considering hydroponic farming under agricultural taxation is yet to be regulated. Thus, considering hydroponic farming in India is still under the exemption of agricultural taxation.
Eventually, it can be concluded that hydroponic plantation allows the plants to grow independently and without any competition for space or nutrients with neighbouring plants. This is the reason that the invested money brings in greater return, with almost no room for wastage or loss. As the hydroponic farms offer a high yield in a shorter period, they are capable of generating higher profit margins for a hydroponic joint venture against any field farming. A decision to invest in hydroponic farming is the wisest decision for assured profitable returns.