Department of Agriculture & Agribusiness Management, University of Karachi
To defeat food shortages in the upcoming era, Pakistan can use hydroponic farming to overcome crises of food shortage. Hydroponics can be a revolutionary technology for Pakistan to guarantee suitable and sustainable supply of vegetable. It reduces 70 percent to 90 percent less water and reduce cultivated area than irrigated soil and land based agriculture farming and gardening. No water was lost in the ground or absorbed by weeds or lost in evaporation.
With the collaboration of government and private sector, a hydroponic pilot project can be started across the country. The establishment of state-of-the-art greenhouse facility can produce hydroponic tomatoes of all varieties including tangy, elegant, cherry and others. If the hydroponic technology is properly deployed, the country could be a huge power player in the market because nobody else in the region is using high-tech hydroponics.
A high tech hydroponic facility is more expensive to set up than soil farming but once it is set up, operating and maintenance costs were low and the very high and definite yields means that invested money would be recovered in one year.
The world leader’s countries in hydroponics utilize ‘cluster approach’ where land is allocated just for hydroponic farming practiced by different farmers. To develop a viable hydroponics industry, Pakistan urgently needs to improve its infrastructure facilities, such as availability of electricity and land. Greenhouses need a constant supply of power but the situation in Pakistan is not encouraging. By improving electricity facilities and establishing green house a fine chain of hydroponics farm can develop.
With more than 16 million populations, Pakistan needed to boost its agriculture performance, which was low and unpredictable compared to other major agriculture producers. If hydroponics is introduced properly, the country can triple the revenues earned on agriculture exports. The new technology also has a great potential to meet our food requirement.