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What is hydroponics or soil less culture? What are its advantages and disadvantages?

Answer:

Hydroponics system is an alternative technique used to alleviate many problems faced in traditional cultivation. It is a technology for growing plants in nutrient solutions that supply all nutrient elements needed for optimum plant growth with or without the use of an inert medium such as gravel, vermiculite, rockwool, peat moss, saw dust, coir dust, coconut fibre, etc. to provide mechanical support.

The advantages and disadvantages associated with this technique are given below.

Advantages

  • No extensive land areas is required, as in the case of traditional cultivation, even residents in housing schemes (Flats) may be in a position to practice hydroponics culture
  • Clean environment can be maintained, as no soil is involved as is in the case of traditional farming.
  • This can be introduced as a good hobby.
  • Early yields can be experienced with hydroponics culture.
  • Efficient use of water.
  • Ornamental plants can be raised easily for highly competitive market.
  • Maximum yield can be achieved as optimum conditions required for plant growth is maintained throughout the period.
  • No threats from soil borne pathogens.
  • Cost of production can be reduced as soil conservation, watering, weeding etc…are not involved.
  • Production can be maintained throughout the year as seasonal effect is eliminated.
  • Minimum use of agrochemicals.
  • Attractive system of farming especially for young generation.

Disadvantages

  • This system involves high investment. The investment is still higher if green house is constructed.
  • Process involves technical aspects and need trained labour E.g. preparation of nutrient solutions, maintenance of correct Ph etc.
  • As initial investment is high, this system is more suited for high value crops.
  • It needs electricity or some other kind of energy sources.
  • It needs additional inputs to maintain optimum temperature inside the unit.

For information on this system follow the links given below:

  • Hydroponics in Sri Lanka: History of Hydroponics, Basic requirement, Classification, Equipments, fertilizer, different types of hydroponics systems, crops that can be cultivated using hydroponics system, nursery management, preparation of nutrient solutions, water management, harvesting, grading, marketing etc..
  • Hydroponics in general-from history to technique and methods.
  • Bringing low-impact hydroponics to farmers.

 

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