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How I Use Upcycled Containers & Aquaponics to Grow 500 Kg Veggies On My Terrace

Disappointed with news about the quality of vegetables grown on the Yamuna river banks, Shashank Dubey started to grow veggies on his terrace using aquaponics. Today, he grows around 2,500 varieties of plants.

How I Use Upcycled Containers & Aquaponics to Grow 500 Kg Veggies On My Terrace

Vadodara-resident Shashank Chaubey decided to grow his own food after he read an article that claimed that the vegetables grown on floodplains of the Yamuna river were contaminated with heavy metal content. 

Triggered by this news, he took matters into his own hands, but he soon realised how space was a constraint for him. 

As an alternative, the engineer decided to give aquaponics farming a try. While brainstorming, he had also gravitated towards hydroponics but ultimately chose aquaponics.

“The major difference between hydroponic and aquaponic setup is the media used to provide nutrients to the soil. It has a similar setup of hydroponics but with an additional fish tank to breed fish. The fish excreta is decomposed by bacteria into nitrate which is an ideal fertiliser for plants. It is like imitating the river ecology. Through this fish tank, water is regulated throughout small tanks that hold plants,” says Shashank. He upcycled drums and cans to use as fish tanks.

Besides nitrates produced by fish waste, he also adds iron nails, lime and egg shells to increase the iron and calcium nutrients. After six months of research and assistance from ICAR-CAFRI, he successfully grew vegetables in a 600 sq ft area for three years. 

In 2018, he decided to quit his job and grow vegetables in a commercial terrace setup.

Presently, he grows nearly 2,500 varieties of plants, which include green leafy vegetables, medicinal herbs, and flowers and harvests 500 kg of vegetables every month.

Found his work interesting? Watch this short video to find out more:

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(Edited by Padmashree Pande)

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