Hydroponics is the science of growing crops without soil and is a subset of soilless culture.The term Hydroponics comes from a combination of two words; hydro which means water and ponics comes from the Greek word ponos meaning labour in Greek.
Simply put, Hydroponics allows crops to grow in a water based, nutrient rich solution minus any soil. In this methodology the roots take up the nutrition, water and Oxygen from a water medium.
Media Culture: Here, the plants are grown in solid media which is sterile and has no micro-biological infection. The media could be rockwool, vermiculite, perlite, cocopeat, volcanic rock, saw dust, rice husk, either individually or in a combination. These nutrients are mixed into the source water and then the crops are fertigated by hand or via a commercial system using the drip method.
At CV Hydro our mission is to train both aspirants and semi-skilled individuals in urban and rural areas to set up inexpensive soilless/hydroponic vegetable, flower and herb growing systems for commercial use.
“Food is a human birth right and every individual has the right to clean, nutritious and wholesome food.”
CV Prakash, Lead Instructor at CV Hydro
Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Institute of Simplified Hydroponics, CV Prakash has over 19 years of experience in Hydroponics and has trained over 11,000 students so far.
Along with his mentor and guru Peggy Bradley (President & Founder, Institute of Simplified Hydroponics, U.S.A), CV set up the Pet Bharo project in October 2008 at an orphanage attached to a Christian Missionary School in Bangalore. The project was aptly christened the ‘Pet Bharo.’ CV has also been instrumental
in setting up several rooftop Hydroponics projects all over India. In his illustrious career CV has been invited as a keynote speaker at major seminars on commercial Hydroponics held across the country. In 2017 he was also invited as a TED Speaker to speak on ‘Hydroponics -The Future of Urban Food’ an independently held TEDx event at the PESIT South Bangalore Campus.
CV has many achievements to his credit in this field and is a well-known resource person, not just in India, but across the Indian sub-continent.
Achievements & Milestones
A recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Jai Jawan Jai Kisan Award by the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, CV has played the roles of mentor, instructor, keynote speaker and consultant in the span of his illustrious career.
Mentored an Urban Hydroponic farming start-up called Woollys, which has been incubated by IIM Bangalore and Bio-Innovation labs Karnataka since October 2016. Woollys was second in the Karnataka Elevate Challenge and won a government accelerator grant worth INR 10 lakhs.
Set up India’s first truly hi-tech (Computer-controlled Environmental and Fertigation systems) and Hydroponics greenhouse at Bangalore for the production of world-class strawberries using South Korean technology. Produced world-class Spinach, Coriander, Lettuce, Strawberry, Tomatoes, Eggplants, Okra, Green Chili, several Japanese herbs, and more than 20 specimens of vegetables.
Official grower and supplier for Walmart India in Bangalore for over 3 years. Achieved preferred vendor status from Walmart due to the sheer consistency, reliability and high quality of fresh produce. Ran this farm as the Head of Operations for 3 years.
Set up another similar Hydroponics system using the NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) re-circulating system for a client to produce world-class high-quality leafy lettuce at Coimbatore.
Set up a third Hydroponics Greenhouse system in Zambia for production of tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper and strawberries on a 4-acre plot.
Set up a 1 acre soilless ginger production facility at Ahmedabad, India and it was a one-of-its-kind pilot project in the history of Indian horticulture.
Set up in 2010, India’s first Hydroponic Garden at a leading multi-speciality hospital in Bangalore, providing high-quality pesticide-free, nutritious produce for its patients.
Built the first-ever Live Hydroponics Display at the Agri-Intex 2014 exhibition at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu and a second one for the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad.
Successfully consulted for a 3 acre farm in Hyderabad in 2019, and ensured the client success and profitability.
Speaker, Advisory & Other Roles
Was an advisor on the Study Board Greenhouse Management Program DDU, Kaushal Kendra at Ramnarain Ruia College (selected by Mumbai University).
Presented a Lead paper at the National Consultative Workshop on Protected Cultivation titled ‘Greenhouse Environment Management and Root Zone Control in Soilless Horticulture systems,’ held at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad in February 2017
Was Invited as Guest of Honour and Keynote speaker by Dell-EMC2 Technologies at Bangalore to celebrate the Dell “Legacy of Good” on occasion of World Earth Day Celebrations in April 2017.
Keynote speaker at the recently concluded ‘Food for the Future-Emerging Technologies,’ Bangalore.
More than 50 of his papers and presentations can be found on www.academia.edu which are amongst the top 0.5 percentile of the most read papers in the world on the portal.
Media & Press
The 1-day workshop was an amazing experience. Cdr Prakash and his team with the scientific knowledge and vast experience in the field of Hydroponics, not only guided us with the entire process but also suggested and helped us with links for all the requirements and patiently answered all our questions, clearing the doubts we had as complete beginners. To see their terrace that was blossoming with greens was very inspiring. The whole experience made my family and me feel very positive and inspired to make the effort to create a similar green patch in our own home… Thank you CV, Shweta and Anant.
Prakash sir said one thing, which is still reverberating in my ears, he said this 1 day session will help you decide to go for it or not, it will save you lot of money and efforts. He started with basics and differentiated the soil and soil-less methods, clarified about things which are to be taken care (water PH, tds etc), the efforts required for the setup, the cost involved, efforts to be taken in case of commercial cultivation, sources for further info on the subject, material availability, pests/diseases, home-made solutions to avoid pests, his experiences on his business and future of this technology. Finally, he showed us the hands-on on how to go about planting the saplings in substrate. The support staff of the programme where themselves young entrepreneurs in this field who could give guidance on the subject and provide feedback on market acceptance of this technology. I won’t say I have learnt everything in it, I am still a novice, but few things which Prakash sir said which I have ingrained and experienced first-hand is you will start loving your plants, you will feel the pain for your plants during different weather/season as you feel on your own body.
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader'. Such has been our mentor, guruji and preceptor Lt Cdr CV Prakash (retd). Having himself achieved greatness in the field of Soil-less cultivation and Indian Navy he has been an epitome of hard work, perseverance, and humility. Leaving a decent finance job and switching to agriculture for me was like jumping into the middle of an ocean and striving somehow to get to the coast. CV sir not only extended his hands and took me aboard but also consorted me to the banks. Although, in this three-month residential training we were taught hydroponics to the core, more importantly, he imparted the much needed 'life-skills' in the life of a farmer, or any person as a matter of fact. This stint has been an incredible journey of ups and downs, achievements and failures, hardships and challenges throughout. Stepping literally into the shoes of a farmer and doing all the farm chores by ourselves made us tough and ready for the tougher life ahead. I am highly grateful and lucky to have trained with the pioneer himself and have such a one-of-a-kind experience. I am departing from here with wet eyes and having a beautiful picture of the future along with undeletable memories in my heart
Little did I expect to learn about life skills when I signed up for my 3-month Hydroponic workshop with our guruji, mentor, guide, teacher, friend, Mr. CV Prakash. Having studied overseas and being new to the whole agricultural industry with zero background, it could be really scary at times to venture into such a huge field. Thanks to the right mentor-ship, guidance, and fellowship, I could overcome the hardships and come out as a successfully trained Hydroponic trainee. In 3 months, I learned how to grow about 56 different types of plants that include all leafy vegetables, fruits, and flowers. CV Sir’s classic line used to be, “Yeh Azaad Maidaan Hai” by which he meant you have absolute freedom in whatever you do here, it is our work and whatever we make of it good or bad will be reflected upon us. In that freedom, we found such liberation and motivation to work smart and work hard, that every day was a new challenge we would like to take onto ourselves and see how we can find a solution to it. Thank you CV sir for all the lessons on and off the classroom.