Hyderabad: Triangle Farms, which has set up a hydroponics farm (cultivation without soil) at Zaheerabad, has plans to set up more farms in Telangana. Currently, it is operating in about 32 acre with a greenhouse facility with a retractable roof system spanning 18 acre.
“We have a landbank of about 160 acre at Zaheerabad. In phase 2, we will be looking to adding about 50 acre to 100 acre. We will also be open to looking at new areas in the eastern part of Hyderabad or the Vijayawada highway,” said Mohan Urs, Chief Operating Officer, Triangle Farms.
The company has met with success in growing coloured capsicum. Out of the 18 acre, the retractable roof setup is 15 acre. Out of this, it brought 7.5 acre is under cultivation. It will add another 7.5 acre shortly, said Mohan.
“We are designing our own sensor systems, testing them, and designing the required hardware to automate the processes. The power requirement for farming will be less. We are using pressure sensors to find out the weight of the plants to know if the plans are getting the required nourishment. We also use sensors to check the moisture content in the roots. Then we also measure the electrical conductivity to gauge if nutrients are enough or not for growth. Many of these standardised shortly,” said Mohan.
The farm also has plans for autonomous vehicles for internal transport. “Each plant row is 112 m long. There are 280 to 300 such rows. It will take 15-20 minutes for a person to cover each row. Handling so many rows involves a lot of walking and this will hit the efficiency of workers. We will use autonomous vehicles for the transport of harvested fruit to the packaging section. The prototype will be ready in about two months and we will fine-tune them. The setup is expected to be ready in one year,” he said.
All the data coming in from sensors and vehicles will be used for drawing up its expansion plans in six to eight months, the official said adding that the effort is to keep the production costs to a minimum so that it affordable to the consumers. The produce is now being sent to big markets in Hyderabad.
“High dosage of pesticides present in vegetables is a deterrent for exports. Since we use hydroponics, water usage is decreased drastically and thereby the pesticide usage is also brought down,” said Kamal Kanchala, one of the co-founder of Triangle Farms. Phase 1 of the project has seen an investment of about $5 million. Now, it has about 50 people working and that number will go up to 120 shortly.
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