This solution was shared by PRE-LAUNCH RESEARCH TEAM , 14 May 2021

Print date: 16 October 2023 17:54

Description of the innovative solution

Desert agriculture Indoor farming Urban farming Water availability Food design Perishable food Food delivery Agricultural extension Closing nutrient loop

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants, typically crops, in nutrient solutions rather than soil and may involve the use of an inert growing medium such as gravel, saw dust, coconut fiber, etc. to provide mechanical support. Hydroponic systems can vary in complexity and scale from hobby to commercial levels and are often used to grow vegetables, fruits and herbs. While hydroponics has existed for centuries, the technique has received increasing attention in recent years as a viable alternative to traditional soil-based farming which is challenged by climate change and causes a wide range of negative impacts on the environment. Hydroponic systems have several benefits vis-à-vis soil-based farming; among others, they are highly resource efficient, using up to 90% less water, and generally produce higher yields at a faster pace since nutrients circulating in water are more accessible to plants than nutrients in soil - many crops can be produced twice as fast. Furthermore, hydroponic farming, allows for crops to be grown and harvested throughout the year regardless of weather or climate conditions and can thereby close potential off-season supply gaps. Production can also take place in unconventional contexts such as urban and dessert environments, moving fresh produce closer to the consumer.

Supply chain segment

Agricultural inputs and primary production practices

Maturity level



Food quality Food safety Food availability Water use Reducing biodiversity loss

SDG target

SDG 2: Zero Hunger SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production


Urban Peri-urban Rural

Examples and additional resources

Real-world examples

See this solution in action in different contexts and settings around the world

Additional resources

Learn more about this solution through studies, articles, business cases, and other information

Evaluation of hydroponics agriculture in Bangladesh and its potential
Scientific paper
Soilless Cultivation for Landless People: An Alternative Livelihood Practice through Indigenous Hydroponic Agriculture in Flood-prone Bangladesh


Connect to others working on and with this solution around the world

No contacts yet.