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Help my school set up a hydroponic farm

Help me cultivate students' knowledge of modern farming methods and develop their entrepreneurial skills to prepare them for the future of agriculture!

Lalit Awasthi

Other fellows: Saurav Lamichhane and Balram Khadka
Shree Ratna Secondary School, Nepal

Updated on: 10 Aug, 2022

This project will potentially benefit 45 students.

About the hydroponic project


We are Lalit, Saurav and Balram, Teach for Nepal fellows at Shree Ratna Secondary School. 

We are proposing this project for students to build their own hydroponic plant system, as we hope to expose our students to both traditional and modern developments in agriculture, introduce hydroponics as a way to reduce the agricultural industry’s impact on our climate, nurture their soft skills such as leadership and problem-solving skills and teamwork, as well as develop their entrepreneurial skills and mindset.

Hydroponics is a form of agriculture that is new to our students as well as people in our community. 

Hydroponics is a type of horticulture in which plants are grown without soil. In hydroponic gardening, the water delivers nutrients to the plant roots, typically in a nutrient-rich solution. This method of farming differs greatly from traditional forms of agriculture, which is prevalent in their community.

Hydroponics is already being rapidly integrated into current food networks and has many benefits, such as faster growth cycles, reduced resource waste, and increased yields. It allows growers to produce food anywhere in the world, at any time of the year, and to net higher yields with fewer resources. There are multiple approaches to designing hydroponic systems, but the core elements are essentially the same. They are: fresh water, oxygen, root support, nutrients and light.

Hydroponics also offers a pathway towards a more sustainable food ethic that prioritizes the health of our food, bodies and environment without the heavy use of chemicals. 

For example, pests and diseases are much easier to deal with in hydroponic farming. This is as the environment is oftentimes portable and raised off the ground. This makes it hard for bugs to reach the plants. Any soil-related diseases are completely written off as well. One is also able to control the amount of nutrients provided to your plant precisely, saving on nutrition costs.

The learning objectives for this project will be to:

- Expose students to how agriculture and technology can work side by side.

- Provide an engaging learning experience to students through the hands-on building of the hydroponic system.

- Provide an avenue for students to learn about and gain income through the sale of produce from the hydroponic plant system.

- Provide students the opportunity to construct, operate and maintain a functioning system to build leadership, problem-solving skills and teamwork.

- Introduce students to aspects of entrepreneurship such as marketing, branding and sales.

- Introduce modern forms of agriculture to students and the people of the community through the sale of produce, such that they may also adopt such systems for their own economic benefit.

To make one hydroponic plant system, accounting for delivery fees and materials needed, the budget we have in total is Rs. 40,000. After setting up the system, we would also need financial support to maintain the system, such as costs of electricity, nutrients, seeds and water.

What we will buy

PVC pipes 150/ft 64 ft 9,600
Plastic tray 5/pc 90 450
Cocopeat 125/kg 10kg 1,250
Water pump motor 5,000 1 5,000
Water tank 6,500 1 6,500
Nutrients 2,000/kg 2kg 4,000
Frame/stand 4,500 1 4,500
Installation costs 2,200 1 2,200
Delivery costs 5,000 - 5,000
Miscellaneous - - 1,500

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