Starting a Germination Room for a Large Hydroponic Color Capsicum Farm

#1

Hi Everyone,

Lot of you must be wondering where I have been or like most cases have I burnt myself up trying to chase a dream. Thankfully I am still around and very much chasing the same dream, Commercial Hydroponics in India.

On the verge of setting up a large project for Color Capsicum production near Pune.

Setting up a Hydroponic project is not an easy task and many details need to worked out and frankly tweaking and improving never ends.

To run the large farm efficiently one must have a steady supply of seedlings. Yes one can always buy them from a supplier but that opens you to few challenges such as unpredictable delivery dates and risk of disease. To elaborate if your supplier can not supply you seedlings on the date that you want, your entire planning goes for the toss and having an empty greenhouse is like an unsold hotel room, Revenue lost for that day is lost forever. Similarly to manage the “date” if supplier supplies you with under matured or over matured or less plants then problem still continues. So frankly only an in house nursery can guarantee you the right quality seedlings and that too at right time.

Plants grown in commercial nursery can bring in virus, disease and pests and you will never know whether you had it or was it “delivered”?

So to be in control you must have your own nursery. Nursery production can be divided into two areas. Germination and Nursery.

Lets talk about Germination room for Bell Peppers. We will germinate 15,000 seeds every month.

We must ensure that no matter what is the season, our seeds stay only 30 days in germination chamber and by the time they come out they should have a uniform standard size irrespective of what is the climate outside.

So I would like you all to contribute to this forum by giving your views on how I should be building this unique germination room? As I study your suggestions, I will incorporate those in my design. I expect the germination room to be completed by May 3rd week and I will sow my first 15,000 seeds on 1st June and will bring them out on July 1st.

Tell me about humidity, temperature, light, CO2, Nutrients, Ventilation, Spacing, risks and whatever you feel is important. Of course as i will complete my project, I will be posting the pictures and at the end of the project will list out the costs.

Hopefully this should be an interesting communication eventually benefiting everyone.

Thanks in Advance.

Regards

Atul Kalaskar

#2

Best Wishes Atul. I am planning for capsicum using hydroponics… So I am keen to see your progress and learn along.
Is there any way I can connect offline with you to understand the planning you have done thus far… My email id is srini.priya@gmail.com.

Looking forward to your success eagerly.

Regards,
Srini

#3

Hi Sir

My best wishes with your project. I am interested to visit your farm with your approval. I request you to please send me the details. Email id - pratiksdhotre@gmail.com

Thank you
Pratik Dhotre

#4

Thanks Pratik and Sreeni,

I will keep you guys updated through this channel. Currently we are finishing the construction work and hope to be harvesting by October 2015. I guess that would be appropriate time to plan the visit.

Take a look at the image which can be searched on Google Map using keywords “Bona Terra Hydroponic Farms”.

This facility has 2.5 acre rain water harvesting pond that can collect 3 crore liter water, good enough for 5 acre Bell Pepper production. It will house 4 greenhouses of 1.25 acres each.

Cheers!!!


#5

Hi Atul,
Can you also share the detail project report of the same.Also how 2.5 acre of ponds can support 5 acre of production?
Please share the details for novice person like me.

Thanks
-Rajdeep

#6

Hi Atul,

Im interested to know more about this initiative.

I’m from Bangalore and native of Mandya Dist, Karnatak. Me and my friends are planning to start organic farming or Hydroponic farm in my native near Pandavapura Taluk. The farm is about 2 acre.

Please let us know the overall estimate to start Hydroponic farm in 2 acre land.

  1. What should be our total budget.?
  2. What should be our initial preparations to start this project?
  3. Is this diff from green house set up?
  4. Is there any expert who could support us to set up this and charge their fee?

Looking forward for your reply and support.

Thanks
Mala

#7

@Rajdeep: Project Reports are very customized affairs and I have seen them starting from 36 lakh per acre (As per NHB subsidy guidelines) to very high teach like mine where it is about 90 lakh per acre and everything in between and beyond. As far 2.5 acre pond with 3 crore liter capacity the calculations are simple. I have total 52,000 plants each expected to take 1 lit of water per day. (Annual average consumption) and I will use another 48,000 lit per day for fogging and rest of the farm needs. This gives me 3.65 crore lit requirement over 12 month. Of these we have rains for 3 months so during these periods whatever little that we consume is replenished. This is how we hope to be self sufficient in terms of water requirement. Environment friendly too as we do not touch ground water.

@Mala: Organic and Hydroponic are two extreme ends of farming and they are reflected in their initial costs, productivity, ease of Management  and ROI. So like any true start up business you need to assess your risk appetite and availability of funds. If you are novice and doing on your own, my suggestion will be to stay away from Hydroponics. On the other hand if you can invest then invest in best consultant who has run the hydroponic farms in India using Indian equipment and services. This will ensure you have most risks covered and should be able to break even is few years.

Hope this helps.

#8

Atul, Another set of silly question, though I believe questions are always important.

  1. For Hydrophonics you have put up a 2.5 acre pond, can you use the pond for some other purpose like pesiculture or anything.
  2. You are planting 52000 plants in 5 acre, which I am sure is not the case, 5 acre must be your future plan and 52000 plant  is for 1 acre of polyhouse, correct?
  3. What all you need to create the infrastructure for hydrophonics other than polyhouse, can you share it for 1 acre polyhouse?
  4. If I invest around 3 acre additional land for 5 acre of production, what is the benefit compared to cultivating the same 5 acre of bell pepper in normal polyhouse using media like cocopit and FYM instead of soil. I mean pros of doing hydrophonics over protected farming in artificial media.

Thanks for patient and your response. Hope I am not asking too much :slight_smile:

Rajdeep

#9
#10

Hello Atul,

I am from Dubai. Please contact me if you want to export.

Bhavik
+971 50 6534475

#11

Thanks Bhavik,

I will be in touch with you soon.

Regards

Atul

#12

Ok Guys,

After some more research and of course some out of the box ideas, here is my first state of the art grow room. What will it provide me 24X7X354?

  1. Most sterile environment for seed germination.
  2. Temperature control all year round with heater and cooler in place. So whether I need 28C or 18C, my seeds will get the perfect temperature.
  3. RH control that can give me 100% RH or 60%, year round.
  4. Controlled light environment with LED lights more low consumption and long duration support for my seedlings.
  5. CO2 enrichment. Optional for seed stage but useful my indoor trials.
  6. Online anytime web camera access to view seedling growth. No need to peep. :slight_smile:

Will start the first batch of 15,000 seeds before August end and then will do so every month. Attached image for your viewing.
Stay tuned as I will put up some more images of sowing seeds using our home made vacuum seeder and actual growing of seedlings.

Thanks for staying connected. Cheers!!!


#13

Dear Atul Kalaskar sir , I know you and your expertise and hardwork to some extent in hydroponic farming of strawberrys, colour capsicum,leafy crops in NFT, etc. Even I had  opportunities to visit twice. Really I am proud of you, achieving this extent, though you are an engineer .

Hope, like earlier, you will extend your co operation to our forum agree community.

All the best to you in this new venture also.

g.p.rao,  farmer

1 Like
#14

hi Atul
First of all , congrats for your open discussion.
I understand from your postings your determination and efforts.
I am also doing a similar project but in vertical NFT in 9 levels in a 1000 sq mtr green house. i am growing European greens.There was a big learning curve and still continuing . The European and Israeli technologies have little relevance for the Indian context especially to my area ( Chennai). 
I agree with you on your observation Commercial Hydroponics is definitely a high risk project. But we have to make it happen.
after seeing your pics , I want to share some points from my experience. May be you are aware of these already.

  1. I missed the  calculation of  the evaporation percentage
  2. Algae growth
  3. i used Grass factory concept from Australia for my system
  4. I have noticed in my nursery that plants are getting more tall bcs of light factor ( I am not aware how much light intensity you have planned)
  5. The temp control through foggers is not enough in my farm.
    6.pH down through acids, caused problems
    I wish you all the best in your efforts.
    Good Luck
    Sai Krishna
#15

Thanks Sai and Rao,

It’s always a pleasure to get a pat on the back. I will continue to update on my project as I complete goals.

Sai,

9 level NFT project is indeed a brave step. I am sure you must have had your ups and downs. Nothing teaches you best as your own experience. I could relate and understand issues mentioned in point 1,2,3,4,5 but was intrigued by point 6.

Can you elaborate more on it?

Regards

Atul.

#16

Dear Sai Krishna sir, Congatulations for your innovative venture. Hope, it will be a good success. Satisfaction will be very much for innovative farmers, though little risks are involved. If at all our forum services are required, pl dont hesitate to ask.

we are eagerly waiting for your narrations on your project developments.

with good wishes,  g.p.rao,  farmer

#17

Hi Atul,

Congrats on your new Germination room, it looks great. I have a few questions if you don’t mind and I think it would help others too…

  1. Could you tell more about those germination boxes? What are they made of and where are they available to buy?
  2. What about the growing media? Is it just sterilized cocopeat or do you add anything to it?
  3. Do you sow the dry seeds directly or do you soak them in water or any organic liquid before use? And the seed variety?
  4. Would the lights be turned on for the whole 30 days?

Good luck and hoping to see the developments soon.

Thanks,
Sravan

#18

Dear Atul Kalaskar Sir,  Eagerly waiting for your project results of Colour Capsicum project in hydroponics along with seeds generating room.nd your narrations on your project.

with best wishes,  g.p.rao  farmer

#19

Hi Atul
Can I visit ur farm. My self Ravindra Lende from Sangamner on Nashik pune highway. Pls grand me permission to visit ur project. Pls also share ur cell number.
Regards
Ravindra Lende
9860034456

#20

Dear Friends,

I have created a FB page where you can see the latest videos for this project.

Overall grow room was a big success. Due to controlled environment, we were able to germinate the bell pepper seeds in 4 days flat. Seedlings popped out on day 8. We hope to grow them for additional 15 days in this grow room.

facebook.com/bonaterrabyatul/timeline

I will continue to answer questions here and post more information as we go along.

As far as vacuum seeder is concerned it was a mix bag. Though the design worked, we had multiple seeds at many holes thus I can’t call it a success. Need to work on it more so only one seed gets sucked per hole. Let’s hope I can get the design right soon.

Till then enjoy.