YAP proposal #342: High-Density Hydroponic Garlic Cultivation (Mudassar Hussain, Pakistan)

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I am Mudassar Hussain, 35, of Toba Tek Singh, Pakistan. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Textile Engineering and Master’s in Business Administration.

After serving in the textile industry for ten years, I have been working as farmer since 2013 with a cultivated area of 20 acres. During the last three years, I have learnt that conventional farming is less feasible in Pakistan. We are facing multiple problems, like a lack of water, unfavourable climate conditions, low crop prices, and reduced yield. The survival of a farmer is only possible if he has additional source of income either in agriculture or some other sector.

Some progressive farmers in Pakistan are involved in off-season vegetable cultivation (tunnel farming), but the high cost of production and low demand is making this type of farming no more profitable. In Pakistan more than 90% farmers are small farmers, having average cultivated land between 5 and 10 acres.

Considering the above factors, I have decided to bring some innovation or modern technique in farming, especially for small farmers and Young Agripreneurs. After conducting study for six months, I found the hydroponics method of farming to be the solution under current circumstances to help the growth of small farmers in Pakistan.

My focus was on finding a realistic, achievable and sustainable technique and method. In January, 2016, I installed my roof top small greenhouse in which I cultivated tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli, beetroots, garlic, cucumber, and bell pepper. I kept on learning everyday with the ambition to adopt the best crop and technique which can help small farmers, Young Agripreneurs and me.

One day I searched on Google and found garlic to be the most profitable crop in the world. Since that day, my focus has been on garlic.

I’ve tried five different experiments and finally my sixth experiment was successful. I have done my experiments on small scale e.g. only 12 sq. feet area. Now, I will do it on 10,000 sq. feet area as a final project.

This project will help the small farmers and young agripreneurs. All of them will have an additional source of income; also they can expand their farming by using this technique and lead a happy life with a good and sustainable profit.

This technique/method will see garlic cultivated on the plywood stands using the fibre-glass trays. We will use ebb and flow hydroponic technique in this project. In ebb and flow the plants are watered two to four times a day. The nutrients are mixed in water that is first pumped to trays for 30 minutes and then collected back to the tank. The plant-to-plant spacing will be 6.25 sq. inches and in this way we would have 165,888 garlic plants in 7200 sq feet area.

The cost of this project is around USD 5,100 with one crop payback rate (six months).

The detail of cost is as;

  • Plywood sheets USD 1,300
  • Fibre-glass trays USD 2,150
  • Pumps, tank, fittings and pipes USD 800
  • Crush and polythene sheets USD 200
  • Seed, electricity and nutrients USD 450
  • Miscellaneous USD 200
  • Total USD 5,100

The project will consist of 18 units: the dimension of each unit will be 100’ x 4’. Each unit will have fibre-glass tray with 9,216 pots. Each pot area will be 6.25 sq inch or 2.5”x2.5”.

Total number of plants will be 9,216 x 18 = 165,888 plants.

Minimum weight expected is 4,976 Kg or 4.9 MTN.

Minimum wholesale price per kg USD 1.3/kg or USD 1,300/MTN

Sale revenue USD 1300 x 4.976 = $ 6,468

The initial cost of the project is high but we can get the pay back only after first crop as calculated above and afterwards handsome profit can be achieved with every crop. The life of the structure is expected to be more than ten years.

The advantages of this project are, less water required, less nutrients required, no problem of weeds, high yield as compared to soil cultivation, less time period of the crop and less labor required as only one person can run the system.

 

Blogpost and picture submitted by Mudassar Hussain (Pakistan): cmhter[at]gmail.com

The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.

 

This post is published as proposal #342 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

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486 thoughts on “YAP proposal #342: High-Density Hydroponic Garlic Cultivation (Mudassar Hussain, Pakistan)

    1. Dear Mudassar Sb.
      You have done an excellent job, much appreciated.
      I would like to visit your farm, pls send me ur address and con tact no
      A Textilion.
      Regards

      Ejaz Akber

      1. Dear Ejaz Sb,
        Thanks very much for your appreciation.
        Sir, you are more than welcome to visit my roof top green house. it is situated at Toab Tek Singh city. my contact is 0345-4444431

        Thanks,

        Mudassar

      1. Thank you Babar bhai, Yes govt. should take initiative for survival of farmers, but the govt. is already struck in different non productive issues.

        My initiative is specifically for small farmers and young ppl who want to invest their energy in productive and progressive way.

        Being the Agricultural Country. our competitive advantage is Agricultural. So, we can get best advantage of it.

        Thanks,

        Mudassar

    2. Excellent research work, which is practical other than conventional farming and to motivate small land holders by using these methods of cultivation produce crops with mass quantity with quality.

      1. Thanks Absul Rehman. only one picture is uploaded as advised by the GFAR.
        Further u can send me email to frwd yu the detailed description and pictures.

        Thanks

    3. Hello Mudassar and congratulations. I am very interested in your excellent idea. Can you email me Photos of your hydroponic setup and the garlic you produced please ?
      Thank you in advance.

      1. Great… Excellent work has been done by Mudasar Sb.. It’s a good initiative.

  1. Dear Mudassar,
    I always make plans to do something different at our land in Multan. Currently, only Wheat and Cotton is being produced there. However, doing something different would require some expertise and risk, due to which we never tried anything different. Garlic is no doubt a profitable crop indeed. Which variety will you try for this project? Mostly Chinese garlic is available in the market. But I would love to see the results of “Desi” garlic in your project as well. Wishing you all the best for your future endeavor.

    1. Thanks for the comments and best wishes Fahad,
      We are using soft neck variety in trial, so call famry garlic.
      For desi garlic the profitability is lesser as it gives less weight.

  2. Garlic yields the highest profit margin compared to other vegetables and cereal crops, according to the statistics of the Ministry of Agricultural Development.
    The figures show that growing garlic is 70 times more profitable than paddy and 17 times more profitable than potato.
    Great thinking best of luck.

    1. Thank you Jahanzaib.

      Yes you are right that garlic is more profitable crop as compare to conventional crops.
      This is why I choose this crop for the benefits of small farmers and Young Agripreneurs

  3. it has the potential to add value back into the farming business for small farmers. Increase in yield by controlling the factors invloved if introduced proprely accross wider farming popultaion can change lives of millions as majority of rural poulation is dependent on farming

    1. Dear Muhammad, you though is much appreciated. let me add one more line i.e. Being the Agricultural Country. our competitive advantage is Agricultural. So, we can get best advantage of it.

      Thanks,

      Mudassar

  4. It’s really great effort Mudasar you cover all aspects with facts and figures in a short way which is really admirable. Wish you best of luck 👍

  5. Its a great project as i saw it myself. Best of luck for the 10000 sq ft. Project. I hope it will be benifcial not only for you but also for those who want to do such a business in the agriculture field. Great initiative sir.

    1. Thanks Aftab sb. your comments are uch appreciated. You have seen the trail from start, so you can understand it easily also u have witnessed the growth and control of the system.

  6. It’s really great effort Mudasa you cover all aspects with facts and figures in a short way which is really admirable. Wish you best of luck 👍

  7. Oh Love you dear, i read your searching & experiments …..That’s a amazing too yar.

    i am filed working man i have decide to work at my home for fresh vegetables produce …………………………..tell me about it some best. can you do it for your ———-friend

    Mian Ikram Mashood

    1. Dear Ikram.
      Your comments are much appreciated. yes you can do it easily. plz visit my place at Toba Tek Singh and you will see the growth and system. it is very much easy to handle. just needed interest and motivation.

      u r most welcome anytime.

  8. Well done Mudassar Hussain. It’s need of the time that educated ppl like you should come in this field to replace old techniques with modern technology in order to cope with the higher demands. It’s a great work and a big achievement.

  9. it has the potential to add value back into the farming business for small farmers. Increase in yield by controlling the factors invloved if introduced proprely accross wider farming popultaion can change lives of millions as majority of rural poulation is dependent on farming

  10. wow, very impressive. What an idea 🙂
    Please start the project ASAP
    We would love to visit ur place

  11. Good idea Mudasir.Its good to know that you are thinking outside the box.
    Don’t know much about agriculture and especially in that region but what you think about farming mashrooms? Even if can’t sell them in local market, they can export them to other countries where they are quite popular.

    1. Thank you Amjad.
      Mushroom has normal demand in Pakistan and for export it is not much feasible. the motive was to bring something for small farmer and young agriprenures. as it is the need of time in such bad circumstances.

  12. Wow chaudhri SB
    Nice to know your idea and effort becoming reality. I hope and plan to be a part of any such initiative, maybe in future.

    Pakistan needs such innovations to survive and remain competent.

    Best of luck

  13. Excellent! Am collecting scapes right now, a couple more to come.
    Another benefit is if you plant them throughout the season, you’ve always got oniony/garlicy greens to cook with, at all different stages. Excellent article, as always! Happy Summer

    1. Dear Zaibi Khan.
      Thanks for your useful comments. to get the full year production, it may not work. as for vegetative growth we required less than 20c. which is difficult to achieve in summer season. the cost will be high if we maintain the required temp. but after harvest, some other vegetable can be cultivated. I am working on the typr of vegetable or herb that can be used during off season on the same setup.

      My focus is always on achievable an sustainable crop, so still i could not find any during off seson. but i am sure to find it very soon.

      Thanks again for your valuable comments.

      Regards,

      Mudassar

  14. Amazing to know that such initiatives are taking place at small scale. It’s a good opportunity for young entrepreneurs. Such kind of methods need to be done on broader spectrum by bringing awareness to farmers at large.

    1. Thanks Alvina Sabah,
      your comments are much appreciated. you are right to do it on broader level. one can start up as small scale and then expand to his own capacity. there is big demand of Garlic in local and international level. Also value addition can also be done by introducing ready to use garlic or garlic paste and garlic sauces etc.
      The most important thing is to take initiative and get knowledge.
      The purpose is to help small farmers and young agriprenures. small farmers are dependent on their conventional crops. the diversity can help them to get good financial growth.
      in Pakistan the farmers have small cultivated lands, which result them high overhead cost if compared to sale revenue. my project will also help them as it is soiless method, one can do it in his house, roof or some spare space near his home.

      Thanks for your valuable comments again

  15. You have done a great and unique work for local farmer. …. I really appriciat …..good luck

    Imran khan
    Tameer Bank. TTS

    1. Thanks Awais Bhai. You are witness of my ambition, thoughts and finally practical operation.
      I know u was impressed when u visited and see the plants health and growth.
      Thanks for your motivation

      Regards,

      Mudassar

  16. I was visited your farm, you are doing a great job. This is the good scheme in future for the small farmers. Well done Mudasar Hussain.

  17. great job mudasar sb. it will set an example for other formers to follow. it will improve yieldage and standards of life of our poor and small formers.
    keep it up.

    1. Thank you Alam Zeb sb. your words are so true. InshAllah it will. there is no difficulty to adopt this alternative way for small farmers. the main purpose was to upgrade the living of small farmers.
      We hope it will work and they will get motivation after visiting the project

      Thanks again
      Mudassar

  18. Dear Mudassar
    First of all I appreciate your work and approach in this regard. It is in fact very important to enable our small farmers to use these kind of techniques to enhance his income through sustainable cultivation procedures.

    The way you addressed the main hurdles of agriculture in the project is appreciable and must be adopted in other crops as well. Because back bone of our country is agriculture and Sustainable Agricultural Devlopment the the key to sustain and success of our economy.

    1. Dear Aijaz Bhai,

      Your words are so true. being an agriculture dependent community where we live, now its time to think out of box. as u know our farmer is too depress due to conventional crops and conventional way of cultivation. It is a small effort to bring relief in their lives.
      most important Agriculture is our competitive advantage, so we should focus diversity in agriculture either in way of cultivation or crops.

      Our farmer is too much hard working, but he is illiterate, he can not take initiative until he watch himself.

      So, this is a small effort to motivate them.

      Also if we go for large sale then there is great opportunity for the progressive ppl like you.

      Plz visit our place anytime

      Thanks for appreciation again

      Mudassar

  19. sir kindly send snaps of fiber sheets fitting soil pot
    and water system for batter understanding.
    kam Chokas haaa sir.

  20. Excellent Mudassar, really appreciate your efforts. I have gone through some few articles on hydroponic in Pakistan but I would observe such close a experience in Toba Tek Sing, I never think about it.
    See you in first week of April inshallah.

    Wish you good luck man.

    1. Dear Brother,
      Your comments are much appreciated. as u know Agriculture is in our blood, So we can not stay away from it. Modern techniques and procedures are need of the time. I studied for 6 month and then made my 1st trial. The results were excellent, which boost my motivation and energy.

      To fulfill our socioeconomic responsibility, I was trying to find something achievable and sustainable for small farmers and young agriprenures. Finally i got what i wanted and now I have opened it for everyone who want to take advantage.

      This is not the end, I am still working on it and will bring some more innovations in this field to help our community nation an everyone in this World.

      You are most welcome brother,

      Regards,

      Mudassar

  21. Excellent research work, which is 100 percent practical other than the conventional farming of garlic and it will motivate small land holders to get mass quantity of crop with best quality.

  22. Great Mudassar…
    A’m just thinking to do something different in our land…to enhance yield and income…
    you do it …Now A’m thinking to used growing crops by this technique
    very weldon…

  23. good sound……brilient idea…
    Pakistan may enhance yield of fruit and vegetable crops to overcome shortage of food…
    I realy appreciated you Mudassair…
    Wish you best of luck….

  24. ohh… great…
    i like green Garlic toooo much…
    Now i get fress and pur garlic at my home….thanx man for such a brilient idea… 🙂
    best wishes for your future project…

  25. people in Pakistan used conventional teniques..they suffer much cost and effort than yield…
    this is much better, less effort and profitable…we should appriciate such type of ideas…
    very good…

  26. I appriciated your work Mudassar,
    you are the 1st one who used this technique in our area…
    there are mostly small farmers…its good for them as highly profitable..
    welldone…

  27. Amazing….its good for small farmers…We can get high yield…
    as Pakistani soil laks nitrogenous contents,thats why by using this technology we ehance the yield becoze there is no need of any soil…so it is a best opportunity for farmers…
    just need to interoduce it….

  28. Great to see the new technique which is not familiar in a country like Pakistan.
    I would like to visit your farm to see the wonderful idea you brought.

  29. Crop cultivation can be carried out under controlled environment in this project .this is a impressive idea.

    1. Thanks Zubair.
      InshaAllah we will take it to top.
      We welcome progressive farmers to use this technique to get rid of current problems.
      As the shortage of water is being faced badly. so we will have to take bold steps

  30. Pakistan is basically an agricultural country which mostly people attached with agriculture and that is very helpful for those who attached with agriculture.
    Sir you have really done great job

  31. Crop cultivation can be carried out under controlled environment in this project .this is a impressive idea.

  32. This project provide local employment for educated youth which help for control unemployment that’s great idea.

  33. In Pakistan mostly formers use old technology because they have not time and money for new technology and experiments.
    In this situation sir you have done fantastic job
    That project should be very helpful for our country because our country is an agricultural country

  34. Assuming objective of organic culture is free from pollutants ,such as chemical fertilizers and pets protestant as much as possible for crops human has to grow and produce ,use manure and not to use any chemical products.

  35. Dear Mudassar

    This is wonderful, it is a moment of great pride to have a friend with such great achievement.
    Keep learning and doing good to the country and the environment we all breath and live in. Your efforts might be an eye opener to all who stop thinking and compromise on the skills that are built in them.

    Best of luck

    1. Thank you Sir,
      Ur words mean me a lot.
      U r my guru, and I’m proud of it.
      It’s all ur guideline that help me a lot.
      This project is also to fulfill my socioeconomic responsibility.
      Thanks for appreciation again

  36. Brilliant job mudassir bhai ………..
    New concept and modern reaseach in the field of agriculture .keep it up

  37. Project is excellent .missing things are soil composition nutrients detail time of cultivation and especially the structured pictures of stand having ebb and flowtron techniques along with the explanation of alteernative stands as plywood in water environment will be physible or not?

  38. Very well work done, appreciate the effort & also sharing it for others.
    Keep it up. Try to utilize my house roof. Wht othere veggies we can grow with this method.

  39. Well done bro (Y)

    I have 2 questions
    1- what is the nutrient formula that you use for feeding the garlic?
    2- how the trays 100′ * 4′ contains 9600 plant per tray?

    Thanks a lot
    Your bro from Egypt

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