India: Chennai man grows 6000 plants in his backyard

In a small 80-square-foot facility, the 31-year-old Rahul Dhoka, founder of Green Rush Organics and hydroponic farming consultant Acqua Farms nurtures over 6,000 plants. This is all because of the knowledge he gained over the last two years of the hydroponic gardening technique. He plants everything from exotic Italian basil to carom (ajwain), mint, spinach, lettuce, kale, and a variety of other leafy greens and herbs in PVC pipe planters. In 2010, Rahul chose to return to India after working in UK at a pharmaceutical company, and establish his own business after realizing he wanted to do more than his 9-to-5 desk job.

Vertical Farming In Limited Space Attracted Rahul’s Interest
He knew organic food was popular in the UK because he had lived there. On the other hand, this market was rarely explored in India. He founded Green Rush Organics five years ago to cater to retail businesses in India. "It was just two years ago that I became interested in hydroponics. "Vertical farming in a small space attracted my interest, therefore it started as a pastime," Rahul explains. 

Acqua Farms was founded six months ago with the goal of supplying hydroponics starting kits to those interested in learning more about the technology. For gifting purposes, their two-planter sets were a big hit. "These are smaller versions of a large hydroponics setup," Rahul continues, "to assist people to learn how plants grow without soil, how to use the proper amount of nutrients for plant growth, and so on."

He was able to serve around 450 families in Chennai in the first month. Apart from the starting kit, Acqua Farms also offers larger system settings, ranging from 24, 48, 72, 96, and 1,000 planter systems, depending on the user's needs.

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