Conference PaperPDF Available

Comparison between Growing Plants in Hydroponic System and Soil Based System

Authors:
Proceedings of the 4th World Congress on Mechanical, Chemical, and Material Engineering (MCM'18)
Madrid, Spain August 16 18, 2018
Paper No. ICMIE 131
DOI: 10.11159/icmie18.131
ICMIE 131-1
Comparison between Growing Plants in Hydroponic System and Soil
Based System
Raneem Gashgari, Khawlah Alharbi, Khadija Mughrbil, Ajwan Jan, Abeer Glolam
Department of Industrial Engineering, King Abdulaziz University
Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
rgashgari0001@stu.kau.edu.sa
Abstract - As the world population grows, the demand and need for different products, especially food products, grow as well. Because
of this growing demand, there will be an expected food crisis in the coming years. To prevent that crises from happening, other methods
-farming methods- and sources of food must be used. This paper studies two farming systems to compare and find the best system that
will cover the current and future demand with the least cost and natural resources consumption. The first system is the soil-based system
(traditional), and the other is the hydroponic system. Two types of seeds were used, cucumber and Armenian cucumber. Over a period
of 30 days, the heights of the plants for both systems were measured. After collecting data, the data were analyzed using Design-Expert
and the variance test (ANOVA). The hypothesis of the test is the type of seeds, planting system, and their interaction do have a significant
effect on the height of the plant or not. The experiment resulted in that the type of seeds doesn’t have a significant effect on the plant
growth. However, the planting system has a significant effect on the plant growth, the hydroponic system has a higher growth rate. This
result achieves the aim of this paper which is finding a planting system that can increase the productivity to cover the food demand.
Keywords: Hydroponic System, Soil Based System, ANOVA, Planting System.
1. Introduction
World population projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. At the same time, it has been estimated that 50% of the arable
land around the world will be unusable for farming [1]. Consequently, the food production has to be increased by 110% to
meet the high demand. According to United Nations Organization (UN), today many countries are facing food crisis
especially in Africa. The food crisis is expected to last to 2050 if the demand will not be covered [2]. The major reason for
this crisis is the climate change due to drought or floods as they became more frequent. Another reason, the poverty of many
countries especially in Southern Africa, poverty reduces food output as the irrigation and fertilizers become inaccessible.
The third reason is the soil erosion and degradation due to traditional farming methods that depend mainly on soil and
therefore, strip the soil from its vitamins and minerals. Because of that, the world needs to develop and apply techniques to
improve and increase the productivity of farming systems. Today farming systems fundamentally based on soil, water and
resilience to disasters. Hence, there is a need to change and develop the economic policies of current farming systems.
2. Problem Statement
Nowadays, the traditional farming system does not meet the current and future demand of food. Therefore, there is a
real need for adapting new farming system that stimulates plants to grow faster. This system should cover the fast-growing
demand with less cost and minimum consumption of natural resources.
Hence, the main goal of the study is to find an alternative system that covers the current and future demand with less
cost and minimum consumption of natural resources. There are also the following specific objectives:
Compare and select between growing plants in hydroponic system and growing plants in a traditional soil system.
Formulate and test a hypothesis.
Use the statistical approach to support the hypothesis of the study.
Provide recommendations for future work.
ICMIE 131-2
3. Literature Review
Many studies have been conducted in developing food production techniques. One of them is the soil less farming
systems. Soil less systems developments can reduce farmer's consumption of resources such aquaponics and hydroponics
[1]. Aquaponics systems combine fish farming with the practice of raising plants in water in a controlled environment [2]. It
is the integration of hydroponics and aquaculture. The system relies on fish's wastes to provide organic nutrients to help
plants in growth. On the other hand, plants filter, clean and recycle the water back to the fish by creating a symbiotic
relationship [2]. Aquaponics system consumes around 2% of the water that traditional systems consume for the same kind
of vegetable [1].
In hydroponics system, plants' roots are suspended in nutrient-rich water so they can grow without the need for any
chemicals. The offers both home gardeners and commercial vegetables to grow food in places where in traditional soil system
is not possible or cost-effective [1]. Plants in the hydroponic system can achieve 2025% higher yields than a soil-based
system with productivity 25 times higher [1].
There has been a lot of questioning whether hydroponic plants are actually more effective than plants grown in soil. An
experiment study done by Maeva Makendi, showed a competitive analysis between the plant's growth in hydroponic and soil
system [3]. The hypothesis stated as follows “If the hydroponic plants and plants grown in soil are given the same germinating
and growing conditions, then the hydroponic plants will do as well if not even better than the plants grown in soil” [3]. The
experiment was done on different kind of plants for one month. Hydroponic plants did germinate and grew faster than soil
plants [3]. A study by Samangooei and others compared two of main food production method, soil-less and soil-based
systems, the result of the productivity gave a similar result to Makendi study [3], [4]. According to Sardare, crops grown in
soil-less culture are healthier and consistently reliable than crops grown in soil [5].
Although many studies have proven that hydroponics takes the advantages over the regular soil farming, their still some
limitations to using this system. In fact, the hydroponic system requires having skills good knowledge of its principles to
maintain the production [6]. Furthermore, and because this system depends on electricity, power outages can cause damage
to the planted crops [7]. Also, with regards to the cost, hydroponics required much more overheads costs compared with soil
traditional farming regardless its savings in the long run [7], [8].
Much more to consider, some experiments have proven that there is no significant difference between hydroponically
and soil-grown crops. In fact, this experiment has been conducted by [7] to measure the quantity of the ascorbic acid α-
tocopherol in hydroponically and soil-grown raspberries. They conclude that different types of crops result in different
outcomes. To make things clearer, these differences in researchers’ results are due to the multiple numbers of variables to
take in consideration during the hydroponic growing.
4. Materials and Methodology
The first step of conducting this experiment is to choose the plants type. The selected plants are vegetables, and they are
cucumber and Armenian cucumber. These were chosen because they germinate quickly to expedite the experiment. A total
of eight seeds will be used for this experiment, four cucumber seeds and four Armenian cucumber seeds.
The materials needed for creating the hydroponic system are the following:
1. Big plastic containers, (yogurt containers are used for recycling reason) included water with a big hole for the small
plastic container to fix it in the middle of the big container.
2. Small plastic container with small holes that allows water enter inside it.
3. Small hydro stones to hold the plant.
4. Nutrient solution A, which consist of calcium and iron chelate.
5. Air pump device, which contains air hose end by an air stone.
6. Nutrient solution B, which consist of magnesium sulfate, potassium, copper sulfide, zinc sulfide and manganese
sulfide.
7. Water.
For the traditional soil planting the following materials are used:
Plastic container with small holes at the bottom.
Planting soil.
A and B nutrient solutions, as the one used for hydroponic system.
ICMIE 131-3
Water for irrigation.
For both systems, a meter was used to measure the length of the plant and pH meter was used to measure the pH degree.
After conducting the experiment, the results of the two systems will be analyzed and compared using statistical experimental
design approach. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) test will be conducted to test the hypothesis, whether the hydroponic
system is better than the traditional system or not. The experiment levels and the variables will be identified and then analyzed
by Design-Expert statistical software to test the hypothesis. Test hypothesis, variables and factors will be defined in the next
section of the paper.
5. The Experiment
The study will focus on comparing the growth of plants grown in soil and hydroponic system given the same seed type
and growing condition. Thus, the hypothesis will be:
𝐻0: Seed type, planting system, and their interaction do not have significant effect on the height of the plant
𝐻1: Seed type, planting system, and their interaction have significant effect on the height of the plant
5.2. Variables
Table 1 represents all variables in the experiment and divides them into three types: independent, dependent and
controlled variables.
Table 1: The list of all the variables.
Independent variables
Dependent variables
Controlled variables
Types of seeds
Planting system
Height of the plant
Length of leaves
Location: rooftop of building
Vitamins
Solutions A and B
Labor
pH number
5.3. Procedures
The procedure of planting in soil system, summarized by the following steps:
1. Fill about 3/4 of the plastic container with planting soil.
2. Place seeds about 1 cm inside the soil.
3. Add A and B nutrient solutions to the water. Then, carefully irrigate the soil with it. Check soil moisture and add
100 ml of water every 3 days.
On the other hand, the procedure of hydroponic system, summarized by the following steps:
1. Prepare the hydroponic solution by adding A and B nutrient solutions in the water with a Ph of 5.5-6.5.
2. Connect the air pump device with electricity and put its air stone inside the container. Make sure that the hose is clear
and transfer appropriate amount of air.
3. Plant small seedlings out of their pots and carefully washing away most of the soil from the roots.
4. Place the clean seedlings in the growing medium which contain small hydro stones and into the hydroponic solution
container. See Figure 1.
5. Control the chemical balance of nutrients (solution A and B) to water by adding mostly water.
Finally, check and monitor daily plants growth for both systems in the experiment for 30 days and keep them away from
pests and root-rot (if roots go slimy, the plant will turn brown and die)
ICMIE 131-4
Fig. 1: The hydroponic system design.
5.4. Data Collection
Seed type factor has two levels and the planting system has two levels. Also, there are 2 pots for each treatment
combination (see Figures from 2-5). In fact, this is a factorial experiment consist of two-factors (planting system and seed
type) in two levels with replication. The list of the treatments in the experiment is shown in Table 2.
Table 2: The list of treatments with its description.
Description
Symbol
Cucumber seed in soil planting system. No.1
S(1,1)
Cucumber seed in soil planting system. No.2
S(1,2)
Cucumber seed in hydroponic planting system. No.1
H(1,1)
Cucumber seed in hydroponic planting system. No.2
H(1,2)
Armenian cucumber seed in soil planting system. No.1
S(2,1)
Armenian cucumber seed in soil planting system. No.2
S(2,2)
Armenian cucumber seed in hydroponic planting system. No.1
H(2,1)
Armenian cucumber seed in hydroponic planting system. No.2
H(2,2)
Table 3: Heights of treatments after 30 days.
Height (mm)
Cucumber
Armenian Cucumber
Planting
System (B)
Soil
94
105
93
78
Hydroponic
190
146
177
150
Table 4: Lengths of leaves of treatments after 30 days.
Length of Leaves (mm)
Seed Type (A)
Cucumber
Armenian Cucumber
Planting System
(B)
Soil
65
51
60
43
Hydroponic
50
76
69
57
ICMIE 131-5
Fig. 2 and 3: Treatment H(1,1) in hydroponic system and treatment S(1,1) in soil system after 10 days.
Fig. 4 and 5: Treatment H(2,1) during growth stages, after 7 days, after 10 days.
Fig. 6: Plants Height Growth in (mm) for 30 days.
: Plants Leaves Growth in (mm) for 30 days.7 .Fig
5.5. Statistical Analysis
The aim of the experiment is to measure the effect of different combinations of levels of planting system and seed type
on the plant height growth and leave lengths. The statistical approach analysis of variance (ANOVA) allows us to test the
null hypothesis that seed type, planting system, and their interaction do not have a significant effect on the plant height and
leaves [3]. Figures 6 and 7 show the increasing trend in the plant heights and growths for 30 days.
As the experiment include replications, the responses are available from two subjects at each combination of levels of
planting system and seed type. So, the attendance of interaction can be measured. The test represents if that difference makes
sense or it must be ignored. By analyzing the collected data from Table 3 and Table 4, three questions must be answered:
Is there a significant difference between seed type, planting system and the interaction on plant heights and leave
lengths?
0
50
100
150
200
22-Oct-1627-Oct-1601-Nov-1606-Nov-1611-Nov-1616-Nov-1621-Nov-16
H(1,1)
H(1,2)
H(2,1)
H(2,2)
S(1,1)
S(1,2)
S(2,1)
S(2,2)
0
20
40
60
80
22-Oct-1627-Oct-1601-Nov-1606-Nov-1611-Nov-1616-Nov-1621-Nov-16
H(1,1)
H(1,2)
H(2,1)
H(2,2)
S(1,1)
S(1,2)
S(2,1)
S(2,2)
2
3
4
5
ICMIE 131-6
How much is the difference between the traditional planting system and the hydroponic planting system?
Did hydroponic system give the best growth results with all seeds types?
6. Results
The Model F-value of 9.70 implies the model is significant. There is only a 2.63% chance that a "Model F-Value" this
large could occur due to noise. Values of "Prob > F" less than 0.0500 indicate model terms are significant. In this case, B
(the planting type factor) is the significant model term. Values greater than 0.1000 indicate the model terms are not significant
which include both A and AB (the type of seed factor and the interaction between two factor). See Figure 8 from Design-
Expert which represent height response.
Fig. 8: ANOVA results from Design-Expert for height response.
The "Model F-value" of 0.36 implies the model is not significant relative to the noise. There is a 78.34 % chance that a
"Model F-value" is large could occur due to noise. In this case, there are no significant model terms. All values (A, B and
the interaction AB) greater than 0.1000 indicate the model terms are not significant. See Figure 9 from Design-Expert which
represent length of leaves response.
Fig. 9: ANOVA results from Design-Expert for length of leaves response.
7. Discussion
The whole experiment took one and a half month to complete. The growth of the plants was measured for thirty days
starting 22 October 2016 till 20 November 2016. The height of the plants and the length of the leaves were measured to
indicate any difference in growth. The data shows treatments that are planted using hydroponic system did indeed grow
faster than traditional soil system.
According to the results from Design-Expert software, the planting system did have a significant effect on the height of
treatments. On the other hand, it will not affect the length of leaves. The other terms, seed type and their interaction between
the planting system and seed type, did not affect the growth- height, and length of leaves of the treatments.
After the plants were germinated, the difference in the speed of growth was noticeable in the height of the treatments.
For example, cucumber treatments equal 94 mm in soil and 190 mm in hydroponic. Similarly, for Armenian cucumber
treatments equal 78 mm in soil and 177 mm in hydroponic. As for the length of the leaves, the differences were little. For
instance, cucumber treatments equal 50 mm in soil and 76 mm in hydroponic. Similarly, for Armenian cucumber treatments
equal 43 mm in soil and 69 mm in hydroponic.
All plants in the hydroponic and soil systems germinated and grew. However, since only eight treatments were studied
the chance of plants not germinated is lower. If more treatments were considered the chance of plants not germinated is
higher. There could also be a probability for plants to die in the middle of the experiment, especially in the soil system due
ICMIE 131-7
to human factors such as overwatering. The hypothesis of the experiment is accepted for changing the planting system will
influence the plants’ height. In this case, the hydroponic system has a better effect as it makes the plant grow faster.
8. Conclusion
High demand for food production is increasing as the world population is growing. Meanwhile, the traditional farming
using soil system will not cover the world's growing demand for food. Thus, developing a new farming and planting system
techniques is required to avoid food crisis issue in the future. This study aimed to examine an efficient technique for
alternative planting system which is the hydroponic system. The statistical experimental design approach was used to analyze
and compare between traditional soil system and hydroponic system by planting two types of seeds: cucumber and Armenian
cucumber in both systems.
The analysis of variance (ANOVA) is used to test two factor factorial design with two levels hypothesis, whether the
hydroponic system is better than the traditional system. The final results from Design Expert software show that hydroponic
planting system has a better effect than traditional soil system as it makes plants heights grow faster. On the other hand, the
planting system has no significate effect on the length of leaves. Moreover, seed type and the interaction between seed type
and the planting system have no signification effect on plant growth.
For future work, the experiment can be done on a larger scale, this will help in reflecting whether the hydroponic system
will meet the demand of today and future market. Considering different factors such as soil type and solution type will help
in implanting the experiment on a larger scale. Also, the period of the experiment should be extended as new changes may
appear after a while. An important note to consider is the type of plants. In this experiment, only two plants were considered.
However, the experiment can be done with different types of seeds to see if the results can be generalized to more plants.
References
[1] U. Nation, “World population projected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100,” United Nation, 21 June
2017. [Online]. Available: https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/world-population-prospects-
2017.html
[2] E. Okemwa, “Effectiveness of Aquaponic and Hydroponic Gardening to Traditional Gardening,” International
Journal of Scientific Research and Innovative Technology, vol. 2, no. 2313-3759, p. 35, 2015.
[3] D. C. Montgomery, Design and Analysis of Experiment, 8th ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2013.
[4] C. Somerville, M. Cohen, E. Pantanella, A. Stankus and A. Lovatelli, “Small-scale aquaponic food production,” 2014.
[5] M. M. S. G, “Comparative Analysis of Two Plant Growth Mediums: Hydroponic vs. Soil,” The Academy of Science,
Research and Medicine, 2014.
[6] M. Samangooei, P. SaSSi and A. Iack, “Soil-less systems vs. soil-based systems for cultivating edible plants on
buildings in relation to the contribution towards sustainable cities,” Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and
Society, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 24-39, 2016.
[7] M. Sardare and S. Admane, A Review on Plant without Soil -Hydroponics,” International Journal of Research in
Engineering and Technology, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 299-304, 2013.
[8] R. Pandey, V. Jain and K. P. Singh, “Hydroponics Agriculture: Its Status, Scope and Limitations,” in Division of Plant
Physiology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, 2009.
[9] C. Treftz, Comparison of Nutritional and Sensory Qualities between Hydroponic and Soil-Grown Strawberries and
Raspberries. Reno: ProQuest LLC, 2015.
[10] C. Treftz and S. T. Omaye, Nutrient Analysis of Soil and Soilless Strawberries and Raspberries Grown in a
Greenhouse,” Food and Nutrition Sciences, vol. 6, no. 9, pp. 805-815, 2015.
... The following procedures in planting pechay adapted from the Department of Agriculture (2019) was followed in the pilot test and in the main experiment which was conducted for six (6) weeks from December 20, 2021 to January 29, 2022 ...
Article
Vegetable growing is essential in people’s health as well as in the economic aspect of their lives. This study sought to find out the level of plant health and growth grown in hydroponic and container gardens. A purposive sampling of the plant selection was used in the study following the criteria on plant health and growth as indicated on plant height (cm); number of leaves; width of leaves (cm); length of leaves (cm); and color of the leaves. The researcher recorded the data every week with a structured observation tool. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings reveal that plants in the hydroponic garden had a significant difference in terms of plant height, length of leaves, width of leaves and number of leaves compared to the plants in the pot garden which means that the hydroponic garden is more effective in growing plants than in the pot garden. On the other hand, results show that there is no significant difference on hydroponic and pot garden in terms of color of the leaves implying that both plants had similar color. The finding points to the need of utilization of the hydroponic garden in the schools and eventually to the homes of the residents in the community.
... This type of farming will have a greater impact on agriculture and will reduce the wastage of water while providing expected nutrients from the soil. The control and monitoring procedure for such systems are still carried out in a traditional manner which is inefficient and causes serious difficulties [4]. ...
Conference Paper
Hydroponic is a sustainable and efficient way of growing plants without any soil. The design and development of a novel hydroponic structure along with remote monitoring capability have been presented in this paper. The framework of the proposed system consists of an acidity (pH) sensor, humidity sensor, temperature sensor, electrical conductivity sensor, and ESP 8266 module. Moreover, the state of the hydroponic system is displayed on a mobile device using the cloud server enabled software Blynk. The effectiveness of this structure has been validated by observing the growth of tomato and lettuce seeds over two weeks. The obtained results show that the lettuce and tomato seeds grew by 3.9 cm and 6.3 cm, respectively. The proposed scheme can help farmers improve the monitoring efficiency of hydroponic farms.
... However, both hydroponics and soilbased production systems require proper control and must be implemented correctly with full respect for plant needs, soil, water, environment, growers, and consumer safety. Hence, a study by (Gashagari et al., 2018) compared and find the best system that will cover the current and future demand with the least cost natural resources consumption. The result showed that the type of seeds doesn't have a significant effect on plant growth. ...
Article
Full-text available
The fact that farming is dependent on available land becomes even more complex when the climate is changing drastically. From this perspective, soilless system production is advantageous since it allows farmers to utilize land that has been unproductive due to pollution or illness, while simultaneously reducing the quantity of water consumed. According to the discussion and conclusions that accompany the results, the growth and development of Brassica rapa are affected by the nutrients it receives in treatments. The concentrations of nutrient solutions have a significant impact on the growth of Brassica rapa. As the number of Brassica rapa layers increases, the Brassica rapa yield increases and improves, particularly in terms of plant yield. The effects of nutritional solutions on plant growth, fresh weight, water consumption, and the number of nutrients in leaf tissue demonstrated that the interactions between factors are not the same. According to the findings of the study, the collected nutrients could be used as fertilizer. Therefore, hydroponic systems will require less mineral fertilizer. The environmental temperature is one of the most important abiotic factors that could slow down the process of development, production, and spread. Based on the data, it is feasible to conclude that the cultivar is more resistant to cold stress.
... Adapun masa panen tiap-tiap tanaman berbeda. Tanaman yang ditanam dengan cara hidroponik cenderung lebih cepat panen dari pada yang ditanam dengan media tanah (Gashgari, Alharbi, Mughrbil, Jan, & Glolam, 2018). ...
Article
Hidroponik adalah salah satu cara bercocok tanam yang inovatif untuk diterapkan masyarakat di masa sekarang. Proses penerapan hidroponik dilakukan dengan sangat sederhana dan tidak memerlukan banyak tempat. Selain itu, banyak keuntungan yang bisa didapatkan melalui bercocok tanam hidroponik. Di masa pandemi covid-19 ini, banyak masyarakat yang bekerja dari rumah sehingga banyak waktu luang yang dimiliki. Oleh sebab itu, dilakukan kegiatan Pengabdian kepada Masyarakat yaitu Pelatihan Workshop Hidroponik untuk masyarakat Desa Kasri Kabupaten Malang. Adanya pelatihan ini diharapkan dapat meningkatkan produktifitas msayarakat Kasri di masa pandemic Covid-19. Tema yang diusung adalah berhidroponik dengan memanfaatkan barang-barang bekas yang mudah ditemui di sekitar tempat tinggal seperti penggunaan botol plastik dan kain flannel bekas. Pelatihan workshop yang dilakukan tidak hanya penyampaian materi saja, tetapi juga melakukan praktik hidroponik secara langsung dengan menggunakan teknik wick system. Proses praktik yang dilakukan mulai dari penyemaian hingga pembibitan. Kegiatan ini berhasil dilakukan diukur dari fakta peserta yang bergabung mampu membuat hidroponik dengan bahan dasar barang bekas. Adapun tindakan lanjutan dari program ini adalah menjadikan hidroponik sebagai komersil bisnis baru bagi masayarakat Kasri sehingga bisa meningkatkan perekonomian mereka. Abstract: Hydroponics is one of the innovative farming methods that society applies today. The process of applying hydroponics is very simple and does not require a lot of space. In addition, there are many benefits that can be obtained through hydroponic cultivation. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many people work from home so they have a lot of free time. Therefore, Community Service activities were carried out, namely Hydroponic Workshop Training for the people of Kasri Village, Malang Regency. This training is expected to increase the productivity of the Kasri community during the Covid-19 pandemic. The theme carried is hydroponic by utilizing used items that are easily found around the residence, such as the use of used plastic bottles and flannels. Workshop training is carried out not only in delivering material, but also conducting direct hydroponic practice using the wick system technique. The practical process is carried out from seeding to seeding. This activity was successfully carried out as measured by the fact that the participants who joined were able to make hydroponics using used materials as basic materials. The follow-up action of this program is to make hydroponics a new commercial business for the Kasri community so that they can improve their economy.
Chapter
Urban agriculture allows taking advantage of the free spaces on the roofs, in such a way that you can have fresh vegetables for consumption. Particularly, hydroponic cultivation has become a very interesting alternative for vegetable production using water mixed with a nutrient solution instead of soil. This paper presents a system architecture, based on the IoT paradigm, for monitoring variables in hydroponic urban growing. This architecture involves five layers, and allows monitoring a set of variables that are relevant for this activity. Based on this architecture, a monitoring system was implemented and then evaluated through experiments performed on the roof of a house in Peru. The results show that the system prototype works properly, opening opportunities for urban agriculture in the region.KeywordsIoT-based system architectureRemote monitoringGrowing parametersHydroponic cultivationUrban agriculture
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
The aim of the present study is the efficiency assessment of 23 greenhouses of red-leaf lettuce based on the data envelopment analysis (DEA) method in Alborz province in Iran. The under-study greenhouses have applied the vertical hydroponic method for increasing of the area under cultivation of Red-leaf Lettuce which is a novel aspect of red-leaf lettuce farming. The optimizing of these production units can improve their performance. Therefore, this research focused on comparing and optimizing the performance of red-leaf lettuce greenhouses that use vertical hydroponic structure using DEA method. The assessment results indicated high efficiency and profitability of red-leaf lettuce farming so that the production cost of each bush is less than 6 cents while the sale price of each bush is nearly 40 cents. This present work provided an accurate performance using the input-based DEA model for evaluating the technical efficiency and scale efficiency of these commercial units. In this study, four main inputs (i.e., workforce, secondary capital for conversion of the ordinary greenhouse into vertical hydroponic structure, fertilizer, and other costs) were assumed as the model inputs and the net profit was considered the output of the model that should be increased. Considering the technical efficiency and scale efficiency, the return-to-scale ratio of the efficient greenhouses was constant, while most of the inefficient greenhouses had an increasing return-to-scale ratio. Analysis of the efficiencies showed that they are clearly small greenhouses that must increase their sizes and save the above-mentioned inputs in order to achieve higher efficiencies and change into efficient units. Accordingly, with an average reduction of 25.6% in the inputs, these units can maintain their previous output levels. As a result, the using vertical hydroponic structure in large red-leaf lettuce greenhouses, applying the suitable technology like greenhouse management systems for controlling of environment parameters and proper usage of the existing production factors for reduction of inputs and management of human resources lead to increase of their performance and efficiency. In this paper, the benchmark units, weights of the benchmark units, and the real and optimized input values will be presented for each studied units.
Article
Full-text available
Soilless (hydroponic) vegetables and fruits grown in greenhouses are gaining popularity and potentially represent a compliment toward sustainable food sources. Only a few studies have looked at the nutrient quality of strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa) and raspberries (Rubus idaeus) grown in soilless systems. Dry weights, content of ascorbic acid, tocopherol, total polyphenolic compounds, glucose, fructose, and soluble solids (BRIX) of strawberries and raspberries grown in soilless systems were compared to their counterpart grown in soil. There was no change in dry weights but BRIX values (28% - 31%), glucose (158% - 175%), and fructose (75% - 102%) content for strawberries and raspberries respectively were significantly higher for the soil grown berries compared to soilless grown berries. Contents of ascorbic acid, tocopherol and total polyphenolic compounds were significantly higher in soilless grown strawberries compared to soil grown strawberries by 74%, 53%, and 22% respectively, and contents of ascorbic acid and total polyphenolic compounds were significantly higher in soil grown raspberries by 83% and 67% respectively compared to soilless grown raspberries. Soilless grown produce warrants future research to strive toward the potential to provide nutrient dense crops and opportunities toward optimized sustainable production.
Article
Full-text available
With the advent of civilization, open field/soil-based agriculture is facing some major challenges; most importantly decrease in per capita land availability. In 1960 with 3 billion population over the World, per capita land was 0.5 ha but presently, with 6 billion people it is only 0.25 ha and by 2050, it will reach at 0.16 ha. Due to rapid urbanization and industrialization as well as melting of icebergs (as an obvious impact of global warming), arable land under cultivation is further going to decrease. Again, soil fertility status has attained a saturation level, and productivity is not increasing further with increased level of fertilizer application. Besides, poor soil fertility in some of the cultivable areas, less chance of natural soil fertility build-up by microbes due to continuous cultivation, frequent drought conditions and unpredictability of climate and weather patterns, rise in temperature, river pollution, poor water management and wastage of huge amount of water, decline in ground water level, etc. are threatening food production under conventional soil-based agriculture. Under such circumstances, in near future it will become impossible to feed the entire population using open field system of agricultural production only. Naturally, soil-less culture is becoming more relevant in the present scenario, to cope-up with these challenges. In soil-less culture, plants are raised without soil. Improved space and water conserving methods of food production under soil-less culture have shown some promising results all over the World.
Article
Food production and consumption for cities has become a global concern due to increasing numbers of people living in urban areas, threatening food security. There is the contention that people living in cities have become disconnected with food production, leading to reduced nutrition in diets and increased food waste. Integrating food production into cities (urban agriculture) can help alleviate some of these issues. Lack of space at ground level in high-density urban areas has accelerated the idea of using spare building surfaces for food production. There are various growing methods being used for food production on buildings, which can be split into two main types, soil-less systems and soil-based systems. This paper is a holistic assessment (underpinned by the triple bottom line of sustainable development) of these two types of systems for food production on buildings, looking at the benefits and limitation of each type in this context. The results illustrate that soil-less systems are more productive per square metre, which increases the amount of locally grown, fresh produce available in urban areas. The results also show that soil-based systems for cultivation on buildings are more environmentally and socially beneficial overall for urban areas than soil-less systems.
World population projected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100
  • U Nation
U. Nation, "World population projected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100," United Nation, 21 June 2017. [Online]. Available: https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/world-population-prospects-2017.html
Effectiveness of Aquaponic and Hydroponic Gardening to Traditional Gardening
  • E Okemwa
E. Okemwa, "Effectiveness of Aquaponic and Hydroponic Gardening to Traditional Gardening," International Journal of Scientific Research and Innovative Technology, vol. 2, no. 2313-3759, p. 35, 2015.
Comparative Analysis of Two Plant Growth Mediums: Hydroponic vs. Soil
M. M. S. G, "Comparative Analysis of Two Plant Growth Mediums: Hydroponic vs. Soil," The Academy of Science, Research and Medicine, 2014.
Comparison of Nutritional and Sensory Qualities between Hydroponic and Soil-Grown Strawberries and Raspberries
  • C Treftz
C. Treftz, Comparison of Nutritional and Sensory Qualities between Hydroponic and Soil-Grown Strawberries and Raspberries. Reno: ProQuest LLC, 2015.
  • M Sardare
  • S Admane
M. Sardare and S. Admane, "A Review on Plant without Soil -Hydroponics," International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 299-304, 2013.