HiMedia Laboratories Private Limited is one of the largest Indian Bioscience companies providing products and customized solutions to over 150 countries worldwide with an all-inclusive product range catering to microbiology, cell biology, plant tissue culture, molecular biology and diagnostics, biochemicals, and consumables and instruments. To address the critical issues of chemical burden and water scarcity in many regions, HiMedia introduced Higronics®, their venture into hydroponics, a soilless farming technology in 2016.
“Global agricultural trends coupled with ever-changing climatic conditions warrant us to take immediate measures to reform our agricultural practices to feed the world. The rapid rise in population along with groundwater depletion affects the ecological pyramid with erratic food consumption patterns. We stand at the threshold of a crisis that calls for urgent application of innovative technologies in finding further solutions,” says Dr. Vishal G. Warke, Director R&D, Cell Biology, PTC and Higronics, HiMedia Laboratories.
Higronics is on a mission of sustainability, social responsibility, and bringing about change for the benefit of all. The central philosophy of Higronics is built around the fundamentals of social upliftment through innovation and education, as well as to help farmers grow more produce even from non-arable land with 90 percent less water.
“Growing plants and vegetables in nutrient-rich water is the basis of hydroponics. It results in higher crop yields irrespective of the place you select for cultivation. With this technology, we aim towards creating a revolutionary platform that will usher in a new era, the ‘Clean Green Revolution 2.0’.” explains Dr. Vishal.
The company offers the widest range of products required within hydroponics, thus being the only one-point solution provider for all hydroponics needs. Higronics’ crop-specific and plant-growth-stage-specific nutrient series, nutrient additives, and biological pest management solutions make Higronics an exclusive player in the market. Their pharmaceutical-grade nutrients with high bioavailability assay give maximum nutrients to the plants and help to enrich their nutritional value, taste, and texture.
Rise of Hydroponics Farms in India
The growing demand for sustainable and protected farming practices has been the driving factor for the rise of hydroponics in India. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic made people realize the importance of adequate nutrition for a strong and resilient immune system. They are growing food crops hydroponically to maximize healthy practices and reduce the risk of health hazards.
Studies have shown that the hydroponics market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13- 22 percent by 2028. Dr. Vishal adds, “It is a wonderful technology in terms of water conservation as it requires almost 90 percent less water compared to traditional flat farming. Hydroponics farming in India is made easier due to the systems that make it space-efficient due to vertical farming. With hydroponics, you can maximize your crop production with fewer agricultural inputs.”
Some advantages of hydroponics system are as follows:
No soil Involved: Since there is no soil involved, the plants are safe from harmful pesticides or chemicals.
Higher Yield: Hydroponics system grows nutrient-rich and produces approximately 240 times higher yield. It allows more harvest in a year as plant growth is faster than traditional farming methods.
Less Utilization of Space: Vertical hydroponics farming requires less space with higher plantation density because of its design. One can place it on the balcony as well.
Less Water Required: The amount of water required for hydroponics farming is almost 90% less compared to conventional soil farming.
Speaking about the home farming system, he says, “You can start your kitchen garden at home with the help of a hydroponics system. It is easy to grow veggies that require some equipment like pots or any food-grade material, seeds, cocopeat, hydroponics nutrients, etc. The basic requirements for hydroponics at home are water and light (natural/artificial). You can grow veggies like leafy greens and vegetable herbs at home in a small space with home farming systems from Higronics.”
Building New Strategies
“Our intent is not to be a run-of-the-mill product supplier. We want to do hydroponics the way it is done in Europe and the USA. We have set up state-of-the-art hydroponics research, pilot facilities in Mumbai, and a full-fledged climate-controlled greenhouse for hydroponics research scale-up. We have joined hands with ICT Foods and Fermentation dept. In addition, we have received the very prestigious IGSTC (Indo German Science Technology Consortium) grant for hydroponics to develop automated sensor-based systems for monitoring elemental nutrient consumption and reusing these nutrients, without releasing them into the environment. Such advanced collaborations and research endeavors help us develop excellent products. We believe that this is the most effective strategy to make hydroponics cutting-edge and affordable for our nation,” Dr. Vishal concludes.
Currently, the company is developing nutrients for blueberry and other exotic plants including high-value medicinal plants. Their future endeavors are to get their very easy-to-use home and hobby products across to students and citizens of India.
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