FAO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific is now also home to a hydroponic demonstration garden!
It’s clean, it’s relatively green and it can help feed a hungry planet. Family and small scale hydroponic gardens can grow almost anywhere provided there is a regular supply of uncontaminated water.
Because no soil is needed, and the water can be recycled, it is particularly useful in urban cities, drought prone areas or where soil has been depleted or diseased. There would be a reduction in exposure to diseases normally encountered in soil-reliant plant production. Because they can be set up virtually anywhere, hydroponic gardens can produce food nearer to market and consumers, reducing transportation costs. While the initial set up costs can be high, there are ways to minimize the costs and, in the long run, provides a lower cost of production if successfully managed.
FAO has also promoted hydroponics in post-disaster areas to help provide temporary food supplies and sources of income. Hydroponics are also useful in areas where little or no suitable land is available (e.g. Maldives where soil and water resources are limited and the result is a lack of fresh vegetables and fruit).