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What is Hydroponics Bioponics / “Organic”?

Updated: Apr 2



Our food system is slowly becoming more environmentally friendly in response to global challenges such as climate change, environmental damage from intensive agriculture, increasing human population, and urban growth. Soilless farming, which involves growing crops without using soil, is a unique type of environmentally friendly food production system. There are several soilless farming techniques, including bioponics. Bioponics is a new technique that aims to replace chemical fertilizers with organic or natural fertilizers. This environmentally friendly fertilizer is recycled from vegetable or animal waste materials, through the activity of microorganisms such as bacteria. Therefore, bioponics is a sustainable fruit and vegetable production method, because it not only limits the use of chemical fertilizers but also saves water and land resources and recycles important nutrients.



How Can We Grow Enough Food While Protecting the Environment?

 

Our planet is facing major challenges, including climate change, increasing global population, and urban growth. Although the number of people needing food continues to increase, traditional methods of growing fruit and vegetables in the ground can be detrimental to the planet. Traditional farming can remove necessary nutrients from the soil or may require the use of dangerous chemicals, such as herbicides and pesticides, which can kill animals and insects. To reduce the negative impact on the earth and produce more sustainable food.

 

Something that society can use today without reducing the possibility of future generations accessing it in the same way, it is important to limit the use of land, water and harmful chemicals, including chemical fertilizers which is fertilizers that are created by specialized chemical industry to help plants grow better and produce more food.

 

A new method of growing things, called controlled environment farming. An innovative form of soilless farming in which fruits and vegetables can be cultivated inside protected buildings, such as greenhouses or tunnels, and under certain light, temperature and humidity conditions. Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) can provide a possible solution. CEA is a form of soilless farming that is increasingly being found in cities around the world. At CEA, all types of fruit and vegetables can be cultivated inside protected structures such as greenhouses or tunnels, and under specific light, temperature and humidity conditions. CEA allows us to use less water and fewer harmful chemicals, and grow crops all year round, not just in the summer.

 

The main technique of soilless farming is called hydroponics. The technique of growing fruit and vegetables in water instead of soil. All the nutrients that plants need to grow are put into the water by farmers. and aquaponics, a technique for growing fruit and vegetables that combines hydroponics with aquaculture. Plants grow in water while fish live. All the nutrients’ plants need to grow are provided by fish.

 

Hydroponics is a growing technique where plants are grown in a water-based solution, to which the farmer adds all the nutrients the plant needs to grow. This form of farming uses materials such as sand or clay balls to support plant roots as they grow in a water solution.

 

This hydroponic planting method is certainly very suitable for use in areas that have little water. However, plant nutritional needs are also very important for maximum plant growth.

 

Among several hydroponic systems that are widely practiced today, the simplest, cheapest and easiest to implement is hydroponics with a floating raft and wick system. Hydroponics with a floating raft system is a system that uses a tub filled with water by placing vegetable seeds on styrofoam which is perforated according to the planting distance. In this system, an aerator is needed to regulate air circulation, because there is no distance between the plant roots and the water.

 

Meanwhile, the wick system is a system that adopts the system on an oil stove, where the tub containing water is covered with a lid (styrofoam) which is perforated according to the diameter of the net pot used. Net pots are equipped with a wick as a connecting tool to transfer nutrients to plants. The distance between the water and the net pot is approximately 5-8 cm. This net pot will be a container for plants to grow and develop.

 

When compared to planting a plant directly in the ground, the results that can be harvested from planting using hydroponic technology are cleaner and safer if consumed directly. This technology is also environmentally friendly because it does not use pesticides and makes the environment more beautiful.

 

Aquaponics is a planting technique that combines hydroponic plant cultivation with aquaculture. Cultivation of aquatic organisms, such as fish, shrimp and algae in fresh water or sea water to produce seafood, namely fish farming. In this form of agriculture, plants grow in water where fish live, and all the nutrients necessary for plant growth are provided by the fish, not the farmer.

 

By combining the two systems, recycling occurs so that waste from the aquaculture system is input to the hydroponic system. By combining aquaculture into aquaponics, the waste released into nature is very minimal. So, it can be said that the aquaponics system is an environmentally friendly system.



Advantages and Challenges of Bioponics

 

Bioponics has environmental, economic, and social benefits. First of all, nitrogen and phosphorus are the main nutrients in chemical fertilizers that are used intensively in traditional agriculture, and excessive use of these fertilizers has negative consequences for nature, such as contamination of groundwater, waterways and soil which can have a negative impact on the life cycle of plants, beneficial microorganisms and animals.

 

Therefore, feeding plants with nitrogen and phosphorus produced from organic or natural compounds is a major environmental benefit of bioponics. Using organic or natural compounds to produce plant-based food also has economic advantages. For example, in developing countries, most chemical fertilizers have to be purchased from other countries, thereby increasing food production costs. In contrast, organic fertilizer can be made anywhere in the world. This means bioponics can reduce the costs of growing food in developing countries. In terms of social benefits, bioponics can strengthen bonds between people by encouraging direct contact between farmers, local markets and consumers. Local farmers can provide fresh, nutritious food while creating opportunities for shoppers to socialize and work together.

 

Despite these advantages, bioponics also has several challenges. For example, because they contain live microorganisms, bioponic systems are fragile and do not function properly. Therefore, managing these systems requires a lot of knowledge and effort. Another challenge is that organic compounds, unlike chemical fertilizers, may lack certain important nutrients that plants need. For example, pig manure is low in potassium, which is important for plant health. Finally, because various types of animal waste are used as a natural source of nutrients for plants, it is important to be aware of the potential risks to human health caused by the presence of heavy metals such as lead, copper, or zinc. For example, chicken manure is often contaminated with high amounts of copper and zinc. These elements can accumulate in the edible parts of plants and, if humans eat them in large quantities, stomach upset can occur. Further food safety research is needed to fully understand the possible health risks of bioponics.

 

In short, bioponics can be a more sustainable soilless cultivation system than hydroponic systems.

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