Participants Learn Essentials About Hydroponic Farming

Around 60 participants took home the fundamen­tal skills for hydroponics farming after a two-day training course. The intension was to boost their ability to grow plants in a nutrient or
21 Aug 2022 10:10
Participants Learn Essentials About Hydroponic Farming
Hydroponics training instructor and director of Hydro-Greens Farm, Madhu Karan (sitting fifth from left) and Dialogue Fiji Executive Director, Nilesh Lal (sitting sixth from left), along with participants and organisation officials during the two-day training in Labasa on August 19, 2022. Photo: Sampras Anand

Around 60 participants took home the fundamen­tal skills for hydroponics farming after a two-day training course.

The intension was to boost their ability to grow plants in a nutrient or water medium and later estab­lish their own farms.

The training began on Thursday at the Kshatriya Hall in Labasa and participants were handed their certificates on Friday.

Dialogue Fiji, under their spon­sors, the European Union (EU), or­ganised this training and catered for the meals, training arrange­ments and transportation costs of the participants.

Its executive director, Nilesh Lal, said this was the first engagement or training with participants in the Northern Division.

Mr Lal said with the changing cli­matic conditions having an impact on the agricultural sector both lo­cally and globally, people had to engage in new adaptive planting methods like hydroponics.


He said planting in a soil medium was no longer an effective growing method as it harboured pests and negatively affected the agricultur­al produce.

Originally from Labasa, Mr Lal believes people in the Northern Division deserve better training opportunities.

“And our people need to be trained in new and smart ways of doing agriculture because one of the drawbacks was the lack in easy and smarter practical skills needed to do smart agriculture farming,” he said.

He said people in the country were only involved in the tradition­al means of plant growth, which was not necessarily the most ef­ficient way of producing agricul­tural output.

Training instructions

During the practical sessions, the main instructor and director of Hydro-Greens in Nasinu, Madha Karan, demonstrated four tech­niques and taught how to construct such systems.

Mr Karan said one of the major drawbacks that led to participants failing to construct their own hy­droponics systems was the inabili­ty to understand where to get these materials from.

“So, the training allowed par­ticipants to understand how the system works, can be constructed using locally available materials,” he said.


“Especially, the North hardly gets to benefit from such hydroponics training and other capacity build­ing programmes,” Mr Karan said.

This led to them prioritising the division for their first interactive training.

They had also set up a model hy­droponics farm in the Western Di­vision and their plan is to do the same for the North.

“These model farms will allow people to learn with the personnel on site since training will not be held regularly,” Mr Karan said.

Hydroponics interest

Mr Lal said that the interest from people around the country had grown and their Viber interaction group had been inundated with re­quests for assistance in training or advice.

Participant hails training

Participant, Iliesa Wainigale, thanked Dialogue Fiji and the EU for hosting this wonderful learning hydroponics training for youths like them.

Mr Wainigale said the first-time experience was worth it.

He, along with seven other mem­bers from Vuo Village in Malau, Labasa, are planning to set up a similar hydroponic system in their community.

“We will advocate this planting technique to our younger genera­tion and share this experience with our elders,” he said.

Another participant, Asim Khan, felt the training was a great learn­ing exercise.

However, he was worried about the expensive cost of the materials.

In response, the training instruc­tor, Mr Karen, said the long-term benefits surpassed this early in­vestment.

Lastly, Labasa District Youth Council climate committee mem­ber, Narishma Kumar, added that despite knowing the basics of this information, the two-day training provided better insights into the field of ‘hydroponics’.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback :

Advertise with us

Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.

By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.