UNISAME RECOMMENDS HYDROPONIC VERTICAL FARMING
The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) experts strongly recommended hydroponic vertical farming for SMEs as currently best business for start ups at a meeting held at Unisame on Saturday 16th February 2019 to overcome food shortage and inflation in prices of food items.
President Unisame Zulfikar Thaver welcomed renowned food technologists Dr Muhammad Anwar Chaudhry and Shahzeb Ahmed Khan who advised SMEs to adopt hydroponic vertical farming for growing fruits,vegetables and fodder without soil through the hydroponic system even in urban areas. They encouraged the SMEs and enlightened them to the fact that hydroponic farming is the future.
They highlighted the features and said that the drought stricken areas of the Thar district and many such areas where the survival of the livestock is difficult due to dearth of fodder could grow abundant fodder and flourish. Hydroponic farming can resolve the shortages of fruits and vegetables and requires minimum space and no soil. The hydroponic system is catching on all over the world.
Omer Naqi the convener of the food committee suggested the SMEs to manufacture food items with indigenous produce items. He emphasized the need for food with nutritional value for children for breakfast and for inclusion in their lunch boxes which could give energy. Dr M. A. Chaudhry who is also an exporter of dates besides being a consultant food technologist , explained the concept of energy bars and its simple manufacturing system.
Manufacturing of many items was discussed ranging from grounding of spices,cottage cheese making, peanut butter, egg powder, cereal items, jaggery items, tomato and chilli sauces,ironized water and processing and packing units for SMEs to begin with. The experts also discussed making of synthetic meat from soybean. The possibilities of manufacturing bean curd was also considered.
The making of chips from bananas was also appealing as it is considered much healthier compared to the potato chips which are very popular among children. Other aspects of fish farming, dehydration units also seemed attractive.
Shahzeb Ahmed Khan emphasized the need to study the feasibility and other important aspects of shelf life of perishable goods, the availability and cost of raw material, packing material, the quality bench mark, the food laws and regulations for export, the certifications and various other factors before entering into ventures. All countries of the world have very strict laws, rules and regulations for import of edible items.
The participants were all in favour of hydroponic farming and decided to promote it on priority and conduct its study and information about it and propagate it vigorously for the SMEs.
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