Meet Ajay Naik, Who Quit His Job, Sold his Company to Become a Hydroponic Farmer
Agriculture accounts for 18% of India’s GDP and employs nearly 50% of the country’s workforce. But there are still several challenges that need to be addressed. There is a need for Made in India solutions that can help agriculture grow at the same pace as other countries.
Most Indians are directly or indirectly dependent on Agriculture and to see universal growth and narrow the economic divide, it’s essential that the agricultural sector and farmers, in particular, should be given priority.
Ajay Naik, previously a software engineer, quit his job and gave up his company to become a hydroponic farmer in Goa. He decided to help farmers across India learn about hydroponics and the use of technology in agriculture. Ajay was attracted to this form of agriculture as it limits the use of chemicals. He started his farm with a team of 6 people and grows exotic vegetables like lettuce and salad greens using the Nutrient Film Technique.
Generally, plants get nutrition from the mineral-rich soil but in this hydroponic technique, for the plant growth, a special solution is provided which has all the essential nutrients. A shallow stream of water containing nutrients circulates past the bare roots of plants in watertight cylindrical tubes also called channels. It reduces water consumption by 80% when compared to traditional farming.
Hydroponic farms are set up in a controlled environment that enables to grow exotic vegetables all-year-round without being dependent on the weather. Ajay is trying to convince other farmers to adopt this technology and he even sells his produce to local vendors and also in supermarkets. He believes that the right use of technology can improve a field’s produce but the problem is that Indian farmers are already struggling with finances and are reluctant to take risks.
Ajay Naik, the Founder of Letcetra Agritech Pvt. Ltd. said, “for several years I have been noticing that many farmers’ children prefer to go for an MBA or engineering degree these days instead of taking up farming. This is because agriculture is not always lucrative. But then, not many of us are focusing on the root of the system we live in, that is good quality food. Only when you have healthy food can you have a healthy country.”