The new model developed at experimental plot at IIHR, conserves more water and uses only one tenth of the water used in drip irrigation. The new model is a hybrid (combined) version of two different hydroponics methods of nutrient film technology (NFT) and wick system. It can be adopted only for cultivation of horticultural crops like fruits and vegetables as well as greens. Dr. Aswath wants to take up another experiment to know whether the hybrid model helps in purifying chloride water from deep borewells.
How it works ?
Water is circulated through a pipe that is laid underground. This pipe will have holes through which wicks are inserted. They will suck water that flows through the pipe and dampen the roots of plants. The water which is pumped through the pipe is collected at the end and recirculated to ensure availability of more dissolved oxygen to help the growth of plants. The nutrients and fertilizers are supplied to plants through the pipe,
The main disadvantage of drip irrigation is that it supplies water above the ground. But when the water percolates into the ground, it clogs the air pores present in the soil. These air pores that have oxygen pockets are crucial for plant breathing. The new hybrid version does not clog the air pores as it works on capillary force.