UNDP's support in hydroponics project reduces plastic pollution in coastal areas

Innovative farming methods and the use of earthen pots have pave the way for a greener future in Bangladesh’s vulnerable coastal areas

June 7, 2023

Revolutionizing Agriculture: Sustainable hydroponics method nurtures plant growth in nutrient-rich water solutions, eliminating the need for soil

The Press Release was first published in The Business Standard Click here to read the original publication.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been supporting the marginalised communities in vulnerable coastal areas to battle against plastic pollution by applying sustainable hydroponics – innovative farming methods using earthen pots – for a greener future.

UNDP is providing technical assistance to the ongoing "Gender-Responsive Coastal Adaptation (GCA) Project" in the coastal communities of Satkhira and Khulna. The project is jointly funded by the Green Climate Fund and Bangladesh.

The region's acute water scarcity and saline water encroachment due to rising sea levels have made hydroponics a particularly fitting solution, according to the project officials.

The GCA project has made remarkable strides in fostering sustainable hydroponic practices in the region. By forming 92 women groups, each consisting of 25 members, the project has empowered women to embrace hydroponics in 23,000 earthen pots across Assasuni upazila in Satkhira.

This shift from plastic pots to earthen pots has prevented an estimated usage of 10,166 kg of plastic, underlining the project's dedication to #BeatPlasticPollution.

"Hydroponics, a revolutionary farming technique gaining momentum worldwide, offers immense potential for the Bangladeshi coastal areas. This method nurtures plant growth in nutrient-rich water solutions, eliminating the need for soil", explained Project Coordination Specialist Mohammad Iftekhar Hossain.

As a result, hydroponics has reduced water usage, minimised reliance on harmful pesticides and herbicides, and contributed to higher crop yields in a limited space, he said adding that hydroponic setups can utilise desalinated water, providing a sustainable alternative in areas where salinity prevails.

He further said that the versatility of hydroponics extends to its ability to be implemented indoors, offering protection against frequent extreme weather, including cyclones and flooding.

While hydroponics itself represents an environment-friendly approach, the project takes its commitment a step further by advocating the use of earthen pots instead of plastic ones, he continued.

Earthen pots, made from natural materials and biodegradable, significantly reduce plastic waste generated by hydroponic farming, contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable environment.

Sharifa Khatun, 38, one of the beneficiaries of the GCA project in Assasuni upazila in Satkhira, expressed her gratitude and emphasised the importance of the project's support, saying, "We were not aware of how our small acts can significantly affect the world and environment, unintentionally putting our lives in danger. But the GCA project has made us realise the importance of using environmentally friendly ways through our actions. Now we are practising hydroponics in earthen pots with the support from the GCA project."

Another beneficiary Sabina Yesmin emphasised the importance of the project's support and said, "We are thankful to the GCA project for enlightening us about the significance of environmentally friendly practices."

Join the Green Revolution! 🌱 Embrace sustainable hydroponics and say goodbye to plastic pollution. Discover how innovative farming methods and earthen pots are transforming coastal areas towards a greener future. Together, let's #BeatPlasticPollution and cultivate a sustainable environment for generations to come. #Hydroponics #SustainableFarming #GreenRevolution