Can agriculture boost growth and employment in a hugely populated India ? Can the traditional agriculture feed this huge population ? Do you know what is aquaponics and hydroponics ?
Today, India ranks second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry and fisheries accounted for 13.7% of the GDP. It is only in recent years that the World Bank and other aid agencies have increased their interest and investment. But will these investments be effective ?
Today agriculture is the main source of livelihood for 2.5 billion people, including landless workers. But public investment in agriculture in developing countries is also on the decline. Total government spending have not been enough in India. Bilateral and multilateral assistance to agriculture, after an increase in the 1970s, also fell.
Is growth of agriculture the only way to address India’s unorganised employment ? This depends on how scientific we are in farming and how sincere our government initiatives will be to provide hand on training to our ill educated farmers.
Let us know what Is Hydroponics ?
Hydroponics uses only water and chemical nutrients to cultivate plants, without the necessity of soil.
The advantages of using hydroponics to grow plants are :
No soil is necessary. It’s stable and produces high yields.
There is no damage from pesticides.
No nutrition pollution is released into the environment.
Lower nutrient requirements due to control over nutrient levels.
Lower water requirement as water stays in the system and can be reused.
What Is Profitable Aquaponics ?
Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants).
It grows fish and plants together in one integrated system.
The fish waste provides an organic food source for the plants, and the plants naturally filter the water for the fish.
The third participants, bacteria convert ammonia from the fish waste first into nitrites, and then into nitrates.
Nitrates are the form of nitrogen that plants can uptake and use to grow.
Solid fish waste is turned into vermicompost that also acts as food for the plants.
Fish disease is rare as there is no toxic in aquaponics.
Aquaponics uses only 1/10th of the water of soil-based gardening.
Aquaponic systems can be put anywhere, use them outside, in a greenhouse, in your basement, or in your living room! By using grow-lighting, and space can become a productive garden.
Aquaponic systems are scaleable ! They can fit most sizes and budgets, from small counter top herb systems, to backyard gardens, to full scale farms, aquaponics can do it all !
It is also most commonly used in larger commercial-scale systems.
Whether it is possible to improve the farm based economy ?
Agriculture and Farming give a major boost to economic growth. This can substantially reduce poverty in low-income economies. Modern scientific agriculture depends on a range of factors. Technology in extension services, can foster adoption and profitable cultivation among farmers.
Agricultural growth will need to be intensive rather than extensive. The per capita production of cereals did not increase after the mid-1980s because of traditional and nature dependent system.
Opportunities are quite encouraging for the agriculture and farm economy in small cities and rural areas.
For Rural development the government will need to play an important role. The private sector will be the main source of investment funds and a supplier of services. Donors, NGOs and civil society organizations will also play a key role. .
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