- Hydroponics Farming
- Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Kendras
Recently, the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare informed the Lok Sabha that ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticulture Research, Bengaluru (IIHR) has developed a variant of hydroponics.
GS III: Agriculture
Dimensions of the Article:
- Hydroponics Farming
- Merits of Hydroponics Farming
- Demerits of Hydroponics Farming
- Hydroponics offers an alternative to traditional farming, focusing on soil-less cultivation to boost productivity and water efficiency.
- Gaining traction in India, especially among forward-thinking entrepreneurs and farmers seeking sustainable and effective crop cultivation methods.
- Hydroponics presents a novel concept in the Indian agricultural landscape.
- Capturing attention from innovative farmers and entrepreneurs aiming for efficient and eco-friendly crop production.
- Currently, hydroponics is predominantly practiced in urban farming setups.
- Rooftop gardening and commercial farming are also adopting hydroponic techniques for enhanced results.
- “Cocoponics” refers to the soilless production of vegetables using cocopeat as a substrate.
- This approach has demonstrated higher success rates in various vegetable crops, showcasing its potential for improved outcomes.
Merits of Hydroponics Farming:
- Enhanced Water Efficiency: Hydroponics significantly reduces water usage compared to traditional soil-based farming by delivering water directly to plant roots, minimizing wastage.
- Optimized Nutrient Delivery: Nutrient solutions can be tailored to meet specific plant needs, ensuring balanced and efficient nutrient uptake, leading to healthier and faster growth.
- Space Utilization: Hydroponic systems can be set up in limited spaces, making it suitable for urban farming, rooftop gardens, and vertical farming, maximizing land use.
- Faster Growth Rates: Plants in hydroponic systems often grow faster than those in soil due to consistent access to nutrients and ideal growing conditions.
- Reduced Pest and Disease Risk: Soil-borne pests and diseases are minimized, reducing the need for chemical treatments and enhancing crop health.
- Year-Round Cultivation: Hydroponics enables year-round cultivation regardless of external weather conditions, ensuring a continuous supply of crops.
Demerits of Hydroponics Farming:
- Initial Setup Cost: Establishing a hydroponic system can be expensive, requiring investment in equipment, infrastructure, and nutrient solutions.
- Technical Expertise: Successful hydroponic farming demands knowledge of system setup, nutrient management, pH control, and troubleshooting.
- Dependency on Technology: Hydroponic systems require consistent monitoring and control of factors like water quality, nutrient levels, and environmental conditions.
- Power Dependency: Hydroponic systems often rely on electricity to power pumps, lights, and climate control, making them vulnerable to power outages.
- Nutrient Management Complexity: Accurate nutrient formulation is critical, and imbalances can lead to nutrient deficiencies or toxicities affecting plant growth.
- Risk of System Failures: Malfunctions in pumps, timers, or other components can disrupt the hydroponic system, potentially damaging crops.
- Limited Crop Diversity: While hydroponics can support a variety of crops, certain plants with extensive root systems may not thrive in hydroponic setups.
Railways Ministry will establish Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Kendras at railway stations across the country.
GS II: Government Policies and Interventions
Dimensions of the Article:
- Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras
- Pharmaceutical & Medical Devices Bureau of India (PMBI)
- Eligibility to Open Jan Aushadhi Kendra
Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras
- Established through Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana, launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers in November 2008.
- Aim: Provide affordable, quality medicines to all, especially the economically disadvantaged, to reduce healthcare expenses.
- Dispense generic drugs, which are cost-effective alternatives of comparable quality and effectiveness to expensive branded medications.
- Jan Aushadhi Stores offer a wide range of therapeutic medicines.
- Also supply related medical products typically found in regular pharmacies to enhance store viability.
Pharmaceutical & Medical Devices Bureau of India (PMBI):
- Created under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Government of India, in collaboration with CPSUs (Central Public Sector Undertakings).
- Responsible for coordinating procurement, supply, and marketing of generic drugs through the PMBKs (Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras).
Eligibility to Open Jan Aushadhi Kendra:
- State Governments, reputable NGOs, trusts, private hospitals, charitable institutions, doctors, unemployed pharmacists, and individual entrepreneurs can apply.
- A Pharmacist holding a B Pharma or D Pharma degree must be employed in the proposed store.