Sometimes one event can change your whole life in a heartbeat. Sometimes it is an awakening and sometimes an acquired knowledge. Similar is the story of Ramveer Singh, a resident of Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.
How it began?
In 2009, Ramveer Singh’s friend’s uncle was diagnosed with cancer. After extensive research, he realized that the cancer was caused by a chemical-laden vegetable. He was scared at first but decided that he would keep his family away from such risks.
A former full-time journalist, Ramveer decided to quit his job and dedicate his time to his ancestral land to grow organic vegetables. “The farm is 40km from Bareilly, and I traveled to grow vegetables and increase production on the land,” he tells The Better India.
He began working as a freelance journalist and also began selling organic farm products commercially.
Why did you adopt hydroponic farming?
In 2017-18, he went to Dubai for an agriculture related program and learned about hydroponic farming. They were delighted with this method of cultivation where they learned that this method does not require soil and can be cultivated with less pest infestation and saves about 80 percent of the water needed to grow plants.
Ramveer learned farming techniques from farmers for two weeks. Upon his return, he decided to experiment with agricultural techniques at home. With his passion and love for hydroponic farms, he today makes millions by converting his three-story house into a hydroponic farm.
How did you establish it?
He then started using pipes and other infrastructure to organize hydroponic systems on his balconies and open spaces. They established two methods for the farm using the nutrient film technique (NFT) and the deep flow technique (DFT). Currently, the estate extends over 750 square meters of space, with more than 10,000 plants.
Grow okra, chilies, peppers, squash, tomatoes, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, strawberries, fenugreek, and green peas. “I grow all seasonal vegetables hydroponically. The system is designed with PVC pipes and circulates the water with the help of gravity. The arrangement ensures that around 16 nutrients such as magnesium, copper, phosphorous, nitrogen, zinc and others reach the plants by introducing them into running water. The method saves 90 percent of water usage,” he explains.
Is it better than other growing methods?
Ramveer believes that the hydroponic farming technique is healthier and better than organic farming. “I feel that hydroponically grown vegetables have better nutrient absorption. Also, the method has no risk of soil contamination, as a neighboring farmer practicing chemical farming may expose the soil or plants by spraying chemicals or pesticides in conventional farming. Hydroponic farming is independent of harmful chemicals,” he says.
His impressive and unique estate attracted the attention of passers-by who were amazed by the vegetable-covered concrete building that hung on the sides. The farmer set up a Vimpa Organic and Hydroponics business which brings him an income of Rs 70 lakh a year.
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