Growing plants without soil (hydroponics) has been an oft-cited phenomenon under consideration for quite sometime. Of late, a Japanese bio-medical expert, Dr. Yuichi Mori has come up with an innovative way of growing plants without soil through hydro membrane applying medical membrane technology. Showcasing his unique achievement, the futuristic agricultural system Imec, he demonstrated that plants can be cultivated anywhere even in the space.
He successfully cultivated cress plants through this ground breaking technology that produced a healthy yield with the minimal use of soil and water. He grew the crop on a sheet of cling-film where the plants were deeply rooted in the culture medium devoid of any soil. Dr. Yuichi Mori devoted a considerable amount of time in developing this special cling sheet, hydro membrane based on the principles of medical membrane technology. The secret of plant growth lies in the culture medium enriched with nutrients and sufficient water where the seeds are planted. The plants form a dense network of their roots as they grow which help them to cling firmly on the sheet. This unique agriculture system consumes about one-fifth of the water required for conventional soil cultivation, and the yield is absolutely safe as no pesticides or insecticides are added during cultivation.
This Imec method of cultivation induces the regulation of more sugar and amino acids during plant growth thereby producing high quality fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes and strawberries cultivated through this method will be sweeter containing high nutritional values. Moreover, the soil less cultivation prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and other soil borne diseases, and with the zero application of chemical pesticides, we can say that green plants are cultivated in a greener manner.
Crops can be grown on the film sheet on any surface and in any environment. Positive results have been derived through Imec method in the desert condition. A Japanese astronaut was successful in cultivating some herbs in the space station. Implementation of Imec method will not involve huge costs or complex technical process compared to hydroponics. It takes lesser time for plant growth, and the hydro membrane can be recycled.
Dr. Mori is highly optimistic about his invention that could bring about a radical change in country’s agriculture and economy, which has suffered a serious setback on the wake of tsunami. He firmly believes that the Imec method of farming will gradually overtake the hydroponics in the future.