Published: 29th January 2021
Opting for a healthier lifestyle, Gujarat teacher turns agriculturist with terrace farming
Deepak Nakum, a teacher-turned-farmer, hailing from Rajkot beleives that terrace farming is also profitable for commercial purposes as it needs less space due to vertical farming techniques
As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to people taking more care of their health, several citizens of Gujarat's Rajkot are now adopting terrace farming to grow more organic vegetables that are safer and healthier.
Deepak Nakum, a teacher-turned-farmer, hailing from Rajkot has now taken up this as a mission and has also been convincing others to take up terrace farming. "The entire system used for terrace farming is called Hydroponic system. In this, the soil is not used. Talking about the benefits of this farming, the water requirement is only 10 per cent and the production is three to four times more than that of normal soil-based farming. There are also zero per cent chances of any diseases spreading through the soil in this type of farming," Nakum said talking about terrace farming.
Hydroponics is a method where a different material is used, instead of soil to support the roots of a plant and grow crops directly in nutrient-rich water. Further talking about the health benefits, Nakum said, "These vegetables are consumed fresh without refrigeration. Therefore, the vitamins remain intact that are otherwise lost during transportation of normally grown ones. The transportation and refrigeration of vegetables reduce the number of vitamins."
The teacher-turned-farmer also stated that terrace farming is also profitable for commercial purposes as it needs less space due to vertical farming techniques and 90 per cent of vegetables grown using in this kind of farming is a success. Rasikbhai Nakum, a terrace farming expert said, "Vegetables that we grow using Hydroponic system need RO water that has low total dissolved solids (TDS). Vegetables like spinach, brinjal, tomatoes, chilies, lettuce, cabbage are a success in the Hydroponic system. While monitoring these plants, it is also very important to measure soil pH and TDS."
Soil pH is used to indicate the acidity or alkalinity of soil and is a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions (H+) in the soil solution. pH is measured from 1 (acidic) to 14 (alkaline), with 7 being neutral, and is measured on a negative logarithmic scale (base 10). "During the COVID-19 lockdown, many families faced difficulties in stepping out to purchase vegetables. This hardship convinced many to opt for terrace farming that is also known as Hydroponic farming, where families can get fresh and vitamin-rich vegetable supply at home by making an affordable investment," Rasikbhai Nakum added.