Philippines: Young Kapampangan entrepreneur develops hydroponic system

Twenty-one-year-old student Harold Zapata started with only P1,000, coupled with a little research and a lot of time due to pandemic restrictions to set up his own hydroponic farm, which is now a success story showcasing how young people can engage in profitable agricultural entrepreneurship.

The 3rd year college marketing student from the City of San Fernando took inspiration from a video on YouTube and began constructing a makeshift greenhouse made of wood, bamboo, and plastic screens. Zapanta did not stop his research and joined Facebook groups that are focused on the business of hydroponics to get much-needed advice through reading.

Zapanta began experimenting with at least two methods of hydroponics to be able to raise an initial 80 heads of lettuce of varying varieties. Zapanta started with different varieties of lettuce, taking advantage of the growing demand for vegetable wraps from the local samgyupsal market.

He purchased old grape Styrofoam boxes, Styrofoam cups, and coco peat to start his own Kratky Method. The method is a simplified hydroponic system in which the plants are suspended above a reservoir containing a nutrient solution. As the plants access the water, the nutrient solution levels fall. As the solution levels get lower, the roots of the plant grow downwards to access more resources.

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