Hydroponics involves the process of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in sand, gravel, or liquid, without using soil. Due to the increasing success rates associated with the commercial hydroponics industry and the increasing difficulty of growing crops on soil, the hydroponics market is expanding exponentially. Many off-season fruits and vegetables can be produced around the year under controlled conditions using hydroponics. The main countries actively practicing hydroponics are the United States, Australia, Spain, Holland, Canada, New Zealand, Italy, Mexico, and China. The major crops that are grown hydroponically are cucumber, lettuce, tomato, peppers, strawberry, leafy vegetables, herbs, cut flowers, etc. This method is widely adopted, due to its integrated pest management approaches.
Hydroponics – Market Dynamics
Hydroponics is termed as one of the fastest-growing soil-less farming practice at a global level, wherein, a tailored nutrient solution, which is of superior quality, helps in the growth of a plant in a sustainable manner. One of the major growth drivers for the hydroponic industry is the documented higher yield as compared to the traditional agricultural techniques. Along with profit farming, growing consumption of exotic, salad crops, and increasing need for global food security are the factors that are expected to drive the market. Lack of awareness regarding the soil-less agriculture system and initial high cost are the factors that might hinder the market growth. Increased cultivation of medicinal plants, globally, and customized farming approach may provide future growth opportunities for the industry.
Will hydroponics revolutionize the way of irrigation?
According to a report by a market intelligence firm, the global hydroponics market is estimated to record a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period 2017-2022, and the market value is anticipated to reach USD 30,849.83 million by 2022. The market growth of hydroponics is majorly due to the increasing focus on adopting innovative and efficient technologies to improve the yields. Tomato is one of the primary crops grown through the hydroponic system, globally. According to a USDA/ERS report, the volume of hydroponic tomato imports from countries, such as Canada, Mexico, and the Netherlands, has increased drastically, and the imports now account for a significant share of the total US fresh market tomato imports. Lettuce and leafy vegetables, pepper, cucurbits, and other vegetables, are being increasingly cultivated hydroponically.
According to our analysts, Europe is traditionally the largest market for hydroponics, implementing advanced techniques in hydroponic smart greenhouse horticulture. The matured European market demand for hydroponics is led by countries, such as the Netherlands, Spain, and France. Asia-Pacific forms the second largest market for hydroponics, which is expected to grow at a steady pace during the forecast period. The North American region led by the United States and Canada, is expected to grow at an improved pace during 2017-2022.
The global market for hydroponics is concentrated within major technically advanced regions. Greentech Agro LLC, Argus Control Systems, Logiqs BV, Koninklijke Philips NV, General Hydroponics Inc., Greentech Agro LLC, and Lumigrow Inc., are some of the major players that are active in the industry. R&D pertaining to the region- and area-specific requirements is being consistently adopted by industry players. Mergers and acquisitions are also one of the key activities that are adopted by the major players. Lawn-and-garden giant, Scotts Miracle-Gro, spent USD 136 million for Gavita, a Dutch grow lighting and hardware company. Through its subsidiary, Hawthorne Gardening Co., Scotts Miracle-Gro invested in companies, such as Boulder’s AeroGrow, an indoor gardening company, and acquired California’s General Hydroponics Inc. for USD 130 million. The company also spent USD 77.1 million to acquire Botanicare.