Advantages and Disadvantages of Soil-less Farming - As we know that soil security is one of the most important global environmental challenges because fertile soil is disappearing fast. In addition to, we need some new innovations for future agriculture that sped up production in a way that had never previously been discovered possible. Hydroponics, or soil-less farming, may change the face of agriculture by providing a more sustainable and alternative to establish plots of land used to grow at maximum efficiency.

Over time research of agriculture continued to innovate that would ultimately maximize yields and as a result, feed more people. One of the research is about growing produce in the absence of soil and investigating ways in which soil-less farming informs plausible solutions for urban food production. There are many advantages of soil-less farming or hydroponic technology as compared to traditional agriculture.

Advantages of Soil-less Farming

Efficient use of water
In soil-based agriculture, crops absorb water from the ground and a significant portion of the water consumed isn’t actually benefiting the plant directly—a lot of it goes to waste. With the looming water shortage, soil-less farming is the way to fficiently utilize only what’s needed, as it is a method of agriculture that monitors and controls the amount of water crops consume and use.

Minimum use of agrochemicals
Soil-less farming does not require the use of agrichemicals that is a major concern to consumers today. Unlike soil-based agriculture, where growers have to use fertilizers to increase crop yield and spray pesticides to keep weeds and pests away, soil-less farming doesn't need for potentially toxic pesticides and chemicals because the grown indoor crops reduce the risk of a plant’s exposure to pests.

Health & Nutritional Value
Nowadays, most people who want to not only know where their food is coming from, but how it’s produced too. In land-based and industrialized agriculture, there has been a lack of transparency in the production process as well as the distribution and supply chain of the food. Consumers today are skeptical of the actual nutritional value contained in their food due to both the production and transportation methods of food. Soil-less farming provides consumers with a food option that is thought to contain higher nutritional value in terms of vitamins and antioxidants. Additionally, the minimized use of chemicals and the shorter supply chain is considered a better choice for both personal and environmental health. In addition to, the yields from soil-less cultivation are significantly higher as a result of intensive practices and the possibilities of continuous, year-round production.

Disadvantages of Soil-less Farming

  • This system involves high investment. The investment is still higher if green house is constructed.
  • Process involves technical aspects and need trained labour E.g. preparation of nutrient solutions, maintenance of correct Ph etc.
  • As initial investment is high, this system is more suited for high value crops.
  • It needs electricity or some other kind of energy sources.
  • It needs additional inputs to maintain optimum temperature inside the unit.
  • Crops cultivated using this approach are more prone to pathogen attacks as a result of high moisture levels.
  • Crops are also more susceptible to rapid death as a result of their lower buffering capacity.