Soil has always been an integral part of the food production ecosystem. However, over the years as agrarian practices have intensified, the quality of soil has deteriorated due to inadequate replenishment of soil nutrients.

Since the early 1970s, researchers and botanists have been exploring the possibility to grow food without soil, which laid the foundation for future research in Aeroponics. Aeroponics, essentially, is a method to grow food in a soilless environment, with very little water.

Interestingly, aeroponics was first explored in 1920s when scientists wanted to study the root structure of plants. But the method did not gain more formal interest until the 70s, when behind the scenes research was going on. It was only in 90s when NASA supported a small project, that the method received widespread interest and recognition as a potential method to grow food.

How does it work?
Aeroponics involves a cardboard, Rockwool and some water. Seeds are allowed to germinate on a board with equidistant holes with soilless medium like Rockwool. As the plant grows, roots are allowed to grow below in an enclosed chamber which holds the nutritional water and cuts off the sunlight. Read more here. Essentially, the method looks to grow food with minimal inputs in a way that nutritional quality of food is not affected.

Future of aeroponics
For centuries growing food has been dependent on soil, and the idea of soilless food production seems bizarre to most. That’s why aeroponics still awaits implementation as a regular way of agriculture. But aeroponics addresses some of the biggest challenges of conventional agriculture, making it a promising trend in agriculture.




Apart from its future in urban agriculture, aeroponics has the potential to become a commercial method of production due to other advantages like space utility, easy maintenance and mobility. It is hence that aeroponics market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 25.60% from 2019 to 2026.

With the right support from the Government, interest from young agri-tech startups and upskilling the farmers, aeroponics can gain popularity and make way for an alternative source of growing food in addition to the conventional techniques.