What is poly house farming?
A poly house refers to an enclosed structure made out of a metal/ wooden frame with a covering of polythene films that are used to artificially create a micro environment that will promote plant growth by creating a conducive climate for the same. Poly house farming is gaining immense popularity in India as it has not only previously shown its advantages but is also massively promoted by the government.
Poly house farming is a suitable example of precision farming where the quality of the crops harvested is based on optimum usage of resources. It helps in cultivating a larger variety of crops which may be considered as exotic plants in a location or may simply be out of season for that time period. The output produce is also of high quality as the protected structure of a poly house ensures that there are no unwanted pest attacks, pathogen or insect invasions etc. with an automated and externally controlled supply of water, fertilizer and humidity the produce is of utmost quality.
Poly house farming has various advantages as the crops are grown in a controlled environment. There is lesser chance of crop damage due to over heating or cold shocks. It reduces the cropping period and overall increases the yield five to ten times.
What is vertical farming?
Vertical farming refers to a process where crops are grown in vertically stacked layers instead of a single flat surface. This method of farming was introduced in 1999 in order to combat the problem of increasing population and food demand in comparison to a fixed land area suitable for cultivation to meet the food demand. This faming helps in maintaining and even increasing the produce by reducing the land wasted for producing the same.
This type of farming used certain technology to maintain and monitor the temperature, humidity, gases and light inside the stacks.
Advantages of vertical farming:
• Reduction in agricultural run-off
• Year-round crop production
• No dependency on external natural climate
• No weather-related crop failures
• Reduction in operating and maintenance costs
• Sustainable faming method
• Larger produce quantity in same land area
• Easy to set up and use
• Cost effective and pocket friendly
• Scope for automation and remote controlling
• Reduction in occupational hazards
• Reduction in labor and energy efficient
Techniques of vertical farming:
- Hydroponics: This refers to a process where crops are cultivated without the use of soil. Nutrient enriched water is used as a substitute and there are various types of hydroponic farming’s tat can be adapted based on the specific need of the plant.
- Aeroponics: This refers to an advanced version of hydroponics where nutrient induced mists are used instead of water. There is no growing medium and farmers need to simply place the seeds in foam placed in pots.
- Aquaponics: This refers to a system similar to hydroponics where aquaculture is integrated into the faming process. Farmers produce fish and aquatic animals for consumption in an artificial environment and the excrement from the same is used as fertilizer for the plants creating an artificial environment extremely similar to the natural eco systems.