Future Farms combats India’s food crisis with alternative farms.
The future of food in India might just be hydroponics, thanks to Future Farms. The company is tackling India’s shortage of high quality, affordable food for the masses through the alternative farming technique, which is used in the U.S. and Europe but less so in developing economies. Hydroponic farm systems have tremendous advantages to traditional farms: they require no soil, use 90% less water, less labor, and have yields 4–5 times greater. And because they are designed to be either hip-height or vertical, hydroponic farms can be located almost anywhere, even on rooftops or in empty parking lots.
Dedicated to a mission of “clean food for all,” Future Farms is the brainchild of Sriram Gopal, a Chennai-based electronics engineer and a business graduate who stumbled onto videos about hydroponic farming in 2013 and immediately saw its potential for India’s food crisis. It’s estimated that 15 percent of the population — nearly 200 million people — lack access to clean, healthy food because of contamination, poor distribution systems, and bad weather. “I was completely blown away with its possibilities and surprised that nobody in India was really pursuing this,” he said.