I am an hardcore entrepreneur.. architect turned agriculturist (fancy word) / farmer and would like to share and seek advise/inputs on my latest venture- Aquaponics. I will spare you the statistics on how there is scarcity of food, use of harmful pesticides on vegetables without monitoring and such and jump right in, with a small introduction.
Though I graduated as an architect and had my own practice running smooth, I wanted to do something more. Hailing from agriculture family, agriculture was always a passion. Decided to move on to make passion as business and thus started R&D at own farm from 2011.Main objectives were a. to make small lands more yielding, b. adapt hi-tech systems from across the globe to achieve multiple results from onetime investments, and c. to create a self sustainable and self dependent system to reduce the input cost and high returns. By observing the high needs of food production for India in nearest future. Started an urban farming setup in 2013 (gave up architecture profession completely) under the name of GROW self sustainable kitchen terrace gardens.
Currently I have successfully running contract farming on my own farmland of 3.5 acres and neighboring lease land of 15 acres. We are supplying green and red chillies for export market to M/s. Namdhari’s Fresh Pvt ltd.
Still, this was not enough…and i found my real passion to make a difference in this field with Aquaponics.
I started off with researching this unique method of agriculture wherein one can grow fish and plants simultaneously in a recirculating water system making use of their inter dependency. This is a fairly popular system adapted outside of India and has innumerable advantages over normal on land farming. The benefits of this system attracted me to study more and trap the potentials.
Along with number of studies and research, i started off with a single tank and grow bed on my terrace and thus started my journey.
From here I moved on to a 300 sft R&D setup in my farm and finally after a tightrope walk finished our first module of 3000sft setup.
There are quite some innovations and adaptations I have come up with in my design such as a single pump system for the entire setup (abroad/elsewhere one pump is used for one tank), lesser power consumption, no cover/greenhouse required; thereby reducing investment cost again, use of natural river water as compared to RO water, multilevel systems etc., (more details in the attached ppt)
The main advantage of this method of agriculture are:
- No weeding and digging required in Aquaponics system
- Faster and more productive growth than traditional growing methods (upto 10 times)
- Plants can be spaced much closer together (up to twice as dense) than planting in soil
- Minimal water usage
- Added benefit of growing your own fish as well as vegetables (double harvest)
- Aquaponics is completely Organic produce.
- No additional fertilizer/manure required
- Once setup, the recurring cost would only be the fish feed and minimal electricity charges(working on using micro hydro energy to eliminate use of electricity)
- Zero wastage and self sustainable system (working on using the solid fish waste for production of bio gas)
Fishes in raceway cells (down); Coral lettuce in full bloom
The purpose and intention of this showcase:
1. Looking for investors to expand into manufacturing and setting up these units for large scale farmlands; smaller setups for urban areas- balconies and terraces (idea is to form a network in future where we can enable buy back system)
2. Mentors to help convert this idea into a strategic project and execute it to invite VC’s / angel investors
3. To invite like minded people to partner and grow with.
I’d be extremely grateful for all your comments and advise on the above. I have also attached a brief profile of the same for people interested in further details. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com.
Thanks & Regards,
More details on my project can be found here
[Ps – if you are accessing this via mobile, click on the linkedin logo (IN) & read it via the slideshare site. The experience is better :-)]