Pilot project in Khajuraho is about to start very soonProf. Dr. Jana Vránová
The pilot project of Khajuraho Modern Farm Pvt. Ltd. opens during summer and autumn 2021 and is located near the famous Khajuraho temples and monuments – listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site – in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh in Chhatarpur district, about 620 kilometres southeast of New Delhi. The small town of Khajuraho is considered one of the “seven wonders” of India thanks to the monuments. Khajuraho Modern Farm Pvt. Ltd starts there its pilot aquaponic project before going India wide.
“We found aquaponics – a system that can help produce both vegetables and fish, in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner”, says the CEO of Khajuraho Modern Farm India Pvt. Ltd., Mr Praveen Sonakiya.
Aquaponics is the combination of the word aquaculture or the growing of fish as well as hydroponics or the growing of plants in a medium other than soil. We grow vegetables and plants with fish in water, in a closed system under controlled conditions. “The fish excrement is converted, by naturally occurring bacteria into nutrients that the plants absorb to grow. We only use 10% of the water used in conventional agriculture”, explains Mr Sonakiya.
Why aquaponics in India? “We do not require farmland with fertile soil, we do not need the soil at all. Aquaponics can generate two types of income coming from fish production and veggies. Our farming technique helps to grow altogether six times more per sq m than traditional farming irrespective of weather conditions. In addition to this, technology used by Farm4All creates conditions for recycling the water and using that into production of vegetables in the areas where water is scarce. In another word, we are able to conserve the quality of water in our river and lakes keeping the soil fertility intact by avoiding frequent and regular doses of inorganic fertilizer to agriculture activities”, what Mr Ranvir Singh, the project manager, confirms.
Our future plan is to build a farm which is able to produce hundreds of tons of fish as well as fruits and veggies that are healthy. This production can be used to supply organic produce to local restaurants and hotels, groceries, specialty markets as well as retail consumers. The part of the whole plan is to engage local organizations, individuals and farmers to help promote local production and food availability. The whole process will help save resources like the cost of transportation, storage and offering employment to locals. Besides, this kind of farming activity can reduce harmful gas emissions. All energy used will be electrical so alternate energy systems such as solar will be used to power our farm.
Thus the produce of both fish and vegetables will be free of chemicals, hormones, mercury, antibiotics and P.C.B.s and will taste much better. It is more nutritious as compared to other ways of farming.
This extraordinary journey towards technology based transformation of agricultural activities will be enhancing food self-sufficiency by using local resources and diversifying to fruits, special herbs and flowers.
We are passionate about the quality of our food, health of inhabitants as well as the planet. In the near future we will bring more local farms producing local food, jobs and income. At the same time we are planning to give you the knowledge and experience to build a successful farm and grow healthy food locally as well.