Hydroponic farming is a specialized branch of agriculture; horticulture to be precise. Hydroponic farming is a method of growing plants or crops using mineral nutrient solutions in water, without soil. Hydroponic farming is a game changer because of how it makes it possible for farming to be done indoors. Eliminating the need for soil effectively opens doors for many. Hydroponic farming has good profit margins. This article will outline how to start the hydroponic farming business, and the hydroponic farming business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.
Land & Housing
The land space you need varies depending on how you want to conduct your hydroponic farming. It can be outdoors or indoors. If it is indoors you can use stacked gardens (vertical farming). This means a warehouse-like building would be ideal; even a vacant room. As for outdoors it can be under sheds or even on balcony spaces. Hydroponic farming is commonly done in greenhouses. Some key considerations to make here are that the crops will need adequate light and aeration. Other possible housing structures for hydroponics farming include tunnels, shipping containers, vertical farming systems and indoor grow tents. Ultimately, the choice of housing for your hydroponics farming business will depend on factors such as the scale of the operation, the location, the hydroponic system to be used, the startup capital budget and the specific crop to be grown. The cost of the housing structure should be included in the hydroponic farming business plan.
Types Of Hydroponic Systems
The are various kinds of hydroponics systems, and the most common ones are explained below.
The system involves the use of wicks which convey the water and nutrients to crops or plants’ roots. The wick system is usually the most common for entry level and small scale hydroponic farmers. The system does not need any power source e.g. electricity.
Deep Water Culture
This entails the crops’ roots being submerged in a mix of the nutrient solution and water. The crops will in essence be dangling on that mix being supported by their growing media. The use of pumps (for oxygenation and circulation) comes into play here.
Ebb And Flow
This is also known as flood and drain. The crops are placed in growing media inside a growing space or bed. The nutrient solution is fed (poured) into the growing space. This is done to point where the solution comes slightly short of reaching the top of the growing media. All this done by timed pump(s) which floods and drains the growing bed after specific intervals.
Nutrient Film Technology
The growing area here is usually a deep tank. Then a thin nutrient film of the nutrient solution is fed to the bottom of the tank. The nutrient film is specially positioned to reach only the roots. This system enables the other upper parts of the plants to not be chocked. Essentially this system facilitates effective aeration for the plants.
The drip hydroponic system pumps the nutrient solution through the tube and drops onto plant roots via a network of drip lines. The action is often made automatically by a timer. It’s simple to build and use and gives you more control over nutrients and water schedule. It’s one of the most popular systems for commercial hydroponics farming.
Here the roots of the plants dangle in the air. This is because the plants will be suspended in the air. This means there is no growing media involved. The nutrient solution is supplied to the plants using a misting method e.g. by spraying it onto the plants.
Equipment For Hydroponics Farming Business
The kind of equipment required for your hydroponics business will depend on the hydroponics system which you are using. Some common equipment used in hydroponic farming include growing containers, water pumps, air pumps, grow tables, lighting system, climate & temperature control equipment, plastic tubing, ventilation equipment, pH & conductivity meters and timers. The costs of the hydroponic equipment should be accounted for in your hydroponics business plan.
Plants Most Suitable For Hydroponics Farming
The major plant categories for hydroponic farming are vegetables, fruits and herbs. Some plants perform better in hydroponics compared to others, so it’s not like any plant you choose will do well in hydroponics. Vegetables most suited for hydroponics farming include lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, spinach, okra, and microgreens. Fruits which perform well in hydroponics systems include strawberries, blueberries, melons, pineapples and blackberries. Herbs which can be farmed hydroponically include basil, parsley, dill, sage, and mint. Your hydroponics farming business plan should clearly state the products you are going to farm.
Hydroponic Farming Inputs
You require a variety of farming inputs when carrying out hydroponics farming business. You obviously need seeds or seedlings. Ensure that you acquire good quality seeds/seedlings from reputable suppliers. If you start your hydroponic farming business with poor quality seeds, you will end up achieving lower yields thus leading to financial loss for your business. You also require the growing media, as hydroponics farming doesn’t use soil, it requires a medium to grow in. Examples of growing medium for hydroponics include rockwool, coconut coir, peat moss, pine bark, clay pebbles, mineral wool, growstone, perlite and sand. Water is an important input in all hydroponics systems, and it should be clean. Hydroponic nutrients and fertilizers are all also required, to provide nutrients to the hydroponic plants, and they can be in the form of mineral salts and organic compounds. The nutrients are provided to the plants through the water solution. Liquid fertilizers are also used in hydroponic farming systems. You also require a good lighting system to provide light to the hydroponic plants. Some plants may also require additional carbon dioxide to boost their growth. The hydroponic farming business plan should cater for the input costs.
In principle, you do not need that many hands on deck when doing hydroponic farming. Staffing needs for your hydroponic farming business will largely depend on your scale of production. Sophistication of the hydroponic system will also have a bearing. Primarily you need general farm workers who are responsible for the day to day care of the plants, from planting the plants, monitoring their health, providing water & nutrients upto harvesting. A farm manager with good technical knowledge of the hydroponics system is also required. You will also require sales & marketing staff for selling the products after harvest. The hydroponics farming business plan should cater for the salaries of all your employees.
The market for fruits, herbs and vegetables is huge. Hydroponic products can be sold to restaurants, supermarkets, and other food retailers, as they are always in need of fresh, locally grown produce. You can also supply your hydroponic products to wholesalers, who can then distribute them to retailers and other businesses. The other option is to supply your products directly to individuals, sales can also be done online with delivery options. If you want to sell your hydroponic produce quickly, you can consider supply to fresh produce markets/ farmers markets. Fruit & Vegetables shops can also buy your products in bulky. High end market segments are keen on consuming food hydroponically produced. That just shows how sought after produce from hydroponic farming can be. The biggest market segment for hydroponic crops is retail outlets. Markets can be domestic but they can also be international (export). A proper marketing strategy should be included in your commercial hydroponics farming business plan.
Advantages Of Hydroponics Farming
No Limitations Of Lack Of Access To Land And Water
In many nations prospective farmers struggle to access arable land. With hydroponic farming no soil is needed. No wonder hydroponic farming can be done indoors or under sheds. This effectively makes it easier for many interested farmers to start hydroponic farming. Additionally, limited access to water is not an issue. Hydroponic farming requires roughly 10% of the normal water quantities required in traditional farming. Hydroponics farming can also be combined with vertical farming, thus you can farm using a small piece of land, as multiple plants can be stacked upwards together in different layers under vertical farming. As a result, you will be able to achieve a higher yield per acre.
Controlled Environment Leads To High Quality Produce And High Yields
Hydroponic farming entails a significant control over core variables. It also comes with laser sharp monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. Some can even go as far as using artificial intelligence, robotics, and internet of things systems. All these frameworks result in faster growing and superior quality crops or plants. Plus substantial yields are attained.
Significantly Less Labour Costs
Hydroponic farming involves the use of systems that can run autonomously. They will just need periodic checks here and there. Consider how labour-intensive farming processes such as weeding, pest, and disease control are eliminated. Hydroponic farming involves minimum weed, pest, or disease infestations. The culmination of all of this is that labour costs are quite low.
Hydroponic farming has promising growth projections looking ahead. You can ride on that wave and make money by starting a hydroponic farming business. Hydroponic farming is birthing some remarkable farming innovations. A good example is vertical farming business whose heart is hydroponic farming. There is still vast room globally for more people to start hydroponic farming. Starting a hydroponic farming business is something you can commence at a small scale. With time you can gradually scale and diversify.
Pre-Written Hydroponic Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel): Comprehensive Version, Short Funding/Bank Loan Version and Automated Financial Statements
For an in-depth analysis of the hydroponic farming business, we encourage you to purchase our well-researched and comprehensive hydroponic farming business plan. We introduced the business plans after discovering that many were venturing into the hydroponic production business without enough knowledge and understanding of how to run the hydroponics farming business, lack of understanding of the financial side of the business, lack of understanding of : the industry, the risks involved , costs and profitability of the business; which often leads to disastrous losses.
The StartupBiz Global commercial hydroponics business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run your hydroponics farming business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as you will be aware of all the costs involved in setting up and running the hydroponic business.
Uses of the Hydroponic Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The hydroponics business plan can be used for many purposes including:
- Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
- Applying for a bank loan
- Start-up guide to launch your hydroponic farming business
- As a hydroponic farming business proposal
- Assessing profitability of the hydroponics farming business
- Finding a business partner
- Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
- Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation
Contents of the Hydroponics Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The hydroponic farming business plan include, but not limited to:
- Marketing Strategy
- Financial Statements (monthly cash flow projections, income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortization)
- Risk Analysis
- Industry Analysis
- Market Analysis
- SWOT & PEST Analysis
- Operational Requirements
- Operational Strategy
- Why some people in hydroponics farming business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
- Ways to raise capital to start your hydroponic farming business
The Pre-written hydroponics business plan package consist of 4 files
- Hydroponic Farming Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive Version – 109 Pages)
- Hydroponics Farming Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive Version – 109 Pages)
- Hydroponic Farming Business Plan Funding/Bank Loan Version- Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan/funding – 40 pages)
- Hydroponics Farming Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel File)
The business plan can be used in any country and can be easily edited. The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the costs, salaries etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.
Click below to download the Contents Page of the Hydroponics Farming Business Plan (PDF)
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