Worldpopulation is expected to grow from 6.7 billion to 9.2 billion between 2007 and2050. 1 Virtually all of the2.
5 billion increases will occur in the developing world’s urban areas (UNDESA,2008). 1. India’s urban population is approximately330 million and is expected to grow to 404 million by 20502.
In such apopulous country the resources to maintain food security are scarcer. If cropfailures occur or there are shortages of food due to natural calamities thenurban poor and the urban middle that are dependent on the food resources suchas markets are affected by the adverse food prices. Often urban areas do nothave sufficient space for farming. Urban area’s surplus independency isdifficult to achieve due to insufficient space for farming.
Also,peri-urban farms and vacant lots are being demolished to make way for newbuildings. These developments take arable land and push farmers onto land withlow fertility and production capacity 3. Urban and rural areas are connected throughgood, services and people; hence urban security depends on the resourcespresent in rural areas, but, working urban class may not be able todevote time to take care of plants 4. Therefore a system which solvesproblems like complete manual monitoring of plants and foreshadowing concernslike food insecurity, water wastage, etc. is required. Hence it is pivotal to use alternate methodsto reduce strain on the resources of rural areas for surplus and create urbansurplus independency. Pollution due to agriculture is a significant threat tobiodiversity in aquatic ecosystems 2.
Urban agriculture plays an importantrole in enhancing urban food security. Urban agriculture to a large extentcomplements rural agriculture and increases the efficiency of the national foodsystem, also in that it provides products that rural agriculture cannot supplyeasily, that can substitute for food imports and can release rural lands forexport production of commodities 3, 5. A technique called hydroponics which uses a soil less medium to growplants can improve the scenario.
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants inwater based nutrient rich solution. 6 This technique aims atrelatively faster and healthy growth of plants as the system will provide the plants exactly what it need, so the plantswill focus more on growing instead of expanding the root system 6. There are various techniques in whichHydroponics systems can be implemented: Recovery Drip system, Nutrient Filmtechnology, etc. 6. Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) systems have a constantflow of nutrient solution hence submersible pump is not required to beprogrammed for a timer. The nutrient solution is pumped into the growing trayand flows over the roots of the plants, and then drains back into the tankholding solution 6. Variousproposed models have incorporated advanced technology into these systems tomake the systems more efficient.
For e.g. the work by Saaid et.
al. 7 Usesdeep water culture and focuses on the ability of the system to adjust the pHvalue of the water solution. Rongsheng Chen et.al. 8 tells about the effects of light quality ongrowth and quality of lettuce in hydroponics and described how more red lightis benefit for the growth and quality of lettuce in hydroponic systems.
Pravin et.al. 9 uses an embedded system that facilitates the growth of multiple cropsunder a single controller. An attempt has been made todevelop a system which can satisfactorily nurture the plant and alsoeffectively monitor the surroundings effectively. This will reduce the wastageof water as well as nutrients.
This project uses coco peat to grow plants. Theplants will be continuously monitored through various sensors (soil moisture,pH level, light intensity, water temperature, humidity and temperature) andthey are catered according to their needs. The system incorporates a layoutwhich will collect the extra water and reuses it, hence will conserve water.