While hydroponic farming in Kenya may sound like a new agricultural venture, the practice dates back to as early as 1987 where it was first used by some farmers to grow fodder for livestock. Hydroponic farming basically entails farming without soil. This new technology of farming is quickly gaining popularity among farmers and households in general. While factors such as lack of space for farm lands experienced mostly by urban dwellers/squatters have discouraged people from farming, hydroponic farming seeks to provide solutions to these problems by providing an alternative to using soil as a medium for plant growth.
It is of importance to mention that there are generally two types of Hydroponic farming namely;
- Hydroponic farming for vegetables and horticulture(This involves replacing soil with materials such as volcanic rocks, rice husks, coconut peak etcetera, which then give support to the plant allowing it to grow upright). This method is used to grow; vegetables (cabbages, sukumawiki, e.t.c,), Tubers (carrots, onions, potatoes, e.t.c), legumes (beans, green grams) and Fruits (tomatoes and strawberries).
- Hydroponic farming for fodder (This involves replacing soil by water which has the nutrients. The method is gaining popularity among farmers who grow fodder for livestock and barley grass for human.)