Before we dive into the question of “Is it possible?” let us first take a moment to consider why is there a need for it. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a widely used and produced condiment in India.
In fact, it also finds its use as a dye, cosmetic remedy, and in religious ceremonies as it is considered an auspicious herb. India is one of the leading countries when it comes to the production of turmeric.
States like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Orissa, West Bengal, et al. are among the major contributors. During the year 2013-14, the production level of turmeric was 12.29 lakh tons, cultivated over a land of 2.34 lakh ha. So, from where does the need for Vertical Farming of turmeric arise?
It arises from the global issues of sky-rocketing populations and urbanization. The growing population needs larger amounts of production to be fed, but land is already a scarce resource, and farmers who are the foundation of production are migrating to cities in search of jobs, i.e. urbanization.
Cultivable lands are also being lost because of industrialization. This is bound to create a gap between requirement and availability, and it is this gap that vertical farming is here to fill.
VERTICAL FARMING IN INDIA
Need is the mother of invention. Vertical Farming is an innovation that has risen out of necessity too. AS Agri and Aqua LLP is on a mission to create the best and most effective agricultural practices for the present and the future. Soil-based vertical farming of turmeric has been made possible by their initiative. Most of the cultivation is done through Poly-house farming, which can be defined as a house or structure made of transparent material like glass or polyethylene.
The advantage of a poly-house is the ability to create a micro-climate which is just right for the crop in question. In this way, cultivation can be done all the year round, with no restrictions of weather and climate. Moreover, such cultivation yields higher produce per resources and inputs.
SOIL-BASED VERTICAL FARMING OF TURMERIC
AS Agri and Aqua LLP is cultivating turmeric through the method of soil-based vertical farming, with a razor-sharp focus on timely supply for consumption as well as transportation. They are making use of latest technology and assuring environmental sustainability in their operations. They boast of phenomenal results:
- 100 Tons production in 1 acre
- Conventional horizontal farming produces yield of 100 quintal (wet) per acre
- Hi-Tech Vertical farming produces yield of(minimum) 10000 quintal (wet) per acre
- Farming in controlled environment as in poly-house
- We do projects in 4000sq ft. & 8000sq ft. 0.5 acre to 1 acre and more
HOW DOES SOIL-BASED TURMERIC VERTICAL FARMING WORK?
The greenhouse technology of Poly-house cultivation is employed, which can be constructed with convenience and at reasonable costs. A drip-irrigation system is used, which is the most efficient method of irrigation and especially apt for turmeric as it cannot stand water logging.
Application of fertilizers is also facilitated with the help of the irrigation system. A micro-climate which is perfect for the growth of turmeric is created and maintained at all times, throughout the year.
This considerably reduces the possibility of crop failure. The appropriate mixture of well-drained loamy soil, with uniformity in texture and richness of organic decay is used for cultivation to make the practice of soil-based vertical farming completely efficient. In a poly-house, turmeric seeds can also be used for propagation.
Seeds are kept in a humid paper to let them germinate, and then planted in their sterile, well-drained fixtures after approximately 20 days. Turmeric plants need manure-rich growth, which is why the rhizomes are often dunked in cattle manure before cultivation. The normal rate of cultivation is 1000 kg of rhizomes per acre. The harvesting period is between 7 and 9 months.
Thus, the benefits reaped by soil-based vertical farming of turmeric can be summarized as:
- Year-round production, with no climatic barriers whatsoever
- Sustainable and green
- Reduces the dependence of fuels and machinery for cultivation
- Optimum utilization of natural resources
- Potential solution to food shortage
- No agricultural runoff
- Higher yield and productivity
Soil-based vertical farming of turmeric is a great initiative with unlimited potential, especially for a country like India where agricultural produce still massively depends on the monsoons and other climatic conditions. It may just be the key to the vicious circle of issues facing the nation.